Mets Still Need Michael Conforto
The New York Mets have done a lot of work this offseason, and they have transformed their team. The Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt additions have made the rotation deeper, and with Jacob deGrom atop the rotation, the Mets are going to be extremely tough to beat.
The lineup was retooled with Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Starling Marte. Despite that, even with the return of Robinson Cano from his suspension, the Mets likely find themselves one player short from being a real complete team. That player is Michael Conforto.
As detailed first on the Simply Amazin podcast, the Mets outfield really does remain a question mark. We got the first glimpse of that when Marte reporting to Spring Training with a strained oblique. For as good as he is, Marte has played over 132 games in a season once since 2016.
Brandon Nimmo presents a similar problem. Nimmo is arguably the Mets best hitter, and he showed the ability to be a good center fielder in 2021. However, he carries the same injury problems as Marte. In 2018, Nimmo played 140 games. That is his career best with 92 games being his second highest. Like Marte, you can’t trust Nimmo to stay on the field and be healthy for 162 games.
Canha played 141 games last season. That was a career high with his previous career high being 126. Canha is also going to be 33, and he has shown real signs of decline in his career. When healthy, this is a good outfield, but they’re not always healthy, and at their ages, there is some risk with Marte and Canha in decline.
This is where the universal DH can help the Mets. Instead of signing a player like Kyle Schwarber to be the DH, using it for Pete Alonso to get Dominic Smith to play first, trying Cano, or really any other iteration, the Mets could sign Conforto and use the DH to rotate between these outfielders to keep them all fresh and healthy.
With Conforto, you still have a player in his prime, and when healthy, Conforto is a great hitter and defender. Yes, Conforto had a down 2021, but that was in part due to his COVID infection and ensuing injuries. Despite that, Conforto still had a 118 wRC+ in the second half. Again, he showed us he can still hit.
This is also a player who has not only been a leader for the Mets, but he has also shown he can handle New York. That is something which gets lost in the shuffle sometimes. Conforto has seen it all with the Mets, and he has been a player with no controversy, emerged as a leader, and has been an All-Star. He knows what it’s like to play on the biggest stage in the biggest city in the world.
Believe it or not, even with all the moves to move on from Conforto, this roster is likely a left-handed batter short. They’re also an everyday outfielder short. Really, when you break it all down, they are a Michael Conforto short. Luckily for them, he’s still out there giving the Mets the chance to bring him back and let him lead the team to the World Series.