The MLB offseason is almost complete: spring training has already started, and most star players have signed with their new teams.
There are, however, a couple of things to solve to officially declare the 2021-22 offseason as finished: Michael Conforto‘s next destination, and the team (s) that will trade for Oakland Athletics’ starters Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea.
Conforto has been one of the National League’s top lefty-hitting outfielders for the past five years or so, but happened to struggle last season.
In 2021, the slugger hit .232/.344/.384 with just 14 home runs in 479 plate appearances with the New York Mets.
The power output was especially disappointing, since we saw him hit 88 home runs between 2017 and 2019, a span of three seasons.
Conforto Should Find A Team Soon
There is hope, however, that he can rebound to form: he is, after all, still theoretically in his prime at 29 years old.
MLB insider Buster Olney, who writes for ESPN, talked about Conforto’s situation.
“Re: Michael Conforto: In the past, some prime unsigned free agents (Morales, Drew, etc.) have waited until after the draft to find a team, to detach themselves from draft-pick compensation. But with this year’s draft set for July 17, that’s not a practical option for him,” he wrote.
Re: Michael Conforto: In the past, some prime unsigned free agents (Morales, Drew, etc.) have waited until after the draft to find a team, to detach themselves from draft-pick compensation. But with this year's draft set for July 17, that's not a practical option for him.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 22, 2022
The Mets extended a qualifying offer to Conforto at the start of the offseason, which he declined.
Now, the team that signs him will have to surrender a high draft pick, and that somewhat lessens his value.
When the draft was held in June, waiting after its completion to sign was an understandable strategy, but the draft is too late in the calendar this year to consider that approach, unless Conforto and his camp are willing to lose more than three months worth of pay.
He should find a team in the upcoming days.NEXT: Marlins Officially Botched The Christian Yelich Trade