Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is under team control through the 2021 season, after which he is eligible for free agency. So would he consider signing long-term before then if the team approached him?
"I think that is always on players' minds, they want to have that security and I know I am going to be under their control for the next two years so it's kind of something that during the season, it's not something I really want to talk about," Conforto told Mike Puma of the New York Post on Tuesday. "When we get into the offseason and kind of leading up to spring training, I guess those conversations will be had, but I love it here and I would love to continue to play here."
Aside from locking up Jacob deGrom this offseason -- two years before he would have hit free agency -- the Mets have not extended any of their young core players lately.
When it comes to Conforto, though, exploring the possibility makes sense -- especially with the Mets facing some uncertainty when it comes to the future of their outfield.
Conforto is earning a shade over $4 million and is due for raises via arbitration in 2020 and 2021.
A long-term deal before then would make sense for Conforto since it would mean a lucrative guarantee before he would otherwise get it. For the Mets, it would make sense since they would be getting Conforto at a below-market value.
The Mets are seemingly reluctant to sign external free agents to deals longer than four years, but that has not been the case when it comes to extending their own players -- such as David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, and deGrom.
While the 26-year-old Conforto has been viewed (unfairly) by some as a disappointment, he is a career .253/.351/.480 hitter who averages 30 homers per 162 games.
The above numbers make Conforto incredibly valuable. And with him being part of the Mets' young offensive core along with Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Amed Rosario, and J.D. Davis, locking him up sooner rather than later could be a prudent move.