Long-term extension talks for the Mets have been surrounding RHP Jacob deGrom all offseason, but that doesn't mean GM Brodie Van Wagenen isn't looking at his other core players, too.
One of those players is OF Michael Conforto, who reiterated before Friday's contest against the Marlins that he would love to sign a deal with the team that drafted him in the first round back in 2014.
"I would love to explore it," Conforto told Newsday's Anthony Rieber. "I'm all ears to anything. I really enjoy playing here, so I'm all ears."
Conforto still has two years left of arbitration before becoming an unrestricted free agent, but players seem to be settling for the guaranteed money of late. Look at the Yankees shelling out long-term extensions to Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks as well as Nolan Arenado signing a massive, eight-year, $260 million extension with the Rockies.
The 26-year-old did settle to a $4.03 million deal before hitting arbitration this season, but Van Wagenen acknowledged they may not have to go through that process again next year.
"I think it's our job to do two things," Van Wagenen said. "Identify what our players need to be successful, give them the tools to be successful and then recognize who has the talent to be part of our plan long-term. We made a lot of moves this offseason, made a lot of trades, but we also identified the players that we think are important now and are important in the future. Michael's one of those guys. Ultimately, we have three years before we have to really think about losing him, but he's going to be an important part of what we do and I think the success he had the second half of the season, we expect it to continue. We'll be open to having those conversations about his longer term future as time goes on."
Going off what Van Wagenen explains, an extension won't be coming Conforto's way anytime soon. However, the fact that both sides are open to talks is always a good step in the right direction for one of the main cogs for the Mets.
It is also worth noting that Conforto is represented by Scott Boras, and we all saw what he got for Bryce Harper this offseason in free agency. Whether or not Boras has the same plans for Conforto to go through arbitration and then hit the open market it not known, but Conforto is keeping his options open.
"Obviously, Scott has that track record, but ultimately he's working for me," Conforto said. "He always lets me know that. He's going to advise me the best way he knows how, but everyone's circumstances are different and he certainly understands that. When the time comes, we'll talk about that, but I don't think the time's here yet. It's just baseball for now."
So, at the end of the day, Conforto knows it's his call what he wants to do for his future. And he and the Mets seem to have the same intentions.
"I see myself as a long-term fixture in this program," Conforto said. "Brodie said he feels the same way. Obviously, I don't know what's going to happen down the road in a couple years, but I would love to stay here long-term. I love it here. I love playing in New York. I feel like I'm going to be a person that's going to be in this organization for a long time."
With that mindset, Conforto will continue to give his all in between the lines. He is enjoying a pretty good spring thus far, hitting .261/.305/.431 with one homer and three RBI.