WASHINGTON – “As is customary when the season begins, [we are] focusing on player performance, ”Scott Boras wrote in a text message to The Post Sunday in response to a question about Michael Conforto, further reinforcing the improbability of his client signing an extension with the Mets before I hit free agency in November. .
If I were to coach the Mets, there are fewer players I’d like to lock up for the foreseeable future than Conforto, the homegrown All-Star who has never represented the organization in a more than exemplary way.
Also if he ran against the Mets? There are fewer players whose uncertain future would cause me less concern for the present. While an unresolved Francisco Lindor situation could have hung over this club like the Sword of Damocles, Conforto imagines he will go ahead in silence.
“Right now I’m focused on the Mets,” Conforto said Sunday after the team wrapped up training at Nationals Park. “I wish they were asking me about a situation that I didn’t go through in a game where we went out and won. I wish we were talking about baseball. “
Baseball will finally host the Mets on Monday night, four days later than scheduled, when they aim to open their 2021 season against the 3-0 Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. They spent the weekend in the nation’s capital relaxed after the Nationals, their first scheduled opponent, experienced a COVID outbreak.
The 27-year-old Lindor will make his debut with the Mets with a 10-year, $ 341 million contract beginning next season, his fate resolved after serious drama. Conforto will begin his seventh year in the Mets uniform, the eighth in the organization, with his destiny in the air. For better or for worse, Steve Cohen clearly labeled Lindor, once the team acquired him from the Indians in January, as their “I’m not the Wilpons” banner to plant at Planet Mets.
Conforto, 28, expressed only happiness for his new teammate and said: “I think he got what he deserved. I think it’s good for the game. “
He added: “Obviously, everyone knows that Steve Cohen is a rich guy. He’s a rich Mets fan. But I think he was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to waste money carelessly. He was going to trust his guys that he hired to make baseball decisions. “
Fortunately for Conforto, you might think that Sandy Alderson oversees baseball decisions as team president; As CEO, Alderson approved Conforto’s pick 10th overall in the 2014 amateur draft. No, that didn’t lead to finding much common ground at this point, although Boras is more comfortable than most of his brothers carrying its players to the open market.
“I think I can see the team looking very different in the next few years and I have thought about that,” Conforto said, although the positional corps could be quite intact if Conforto sticks around.
He has proven to be fairly consistent the previous four years, his OPS + ranges from 122 (in 2018) to 153 (last year) and his games played are 90 percent or more in each of the three previous seasons. The natural, if imperfect, comparison based on today’s market would be George Springer, who received $ 150 million over six years from the Blue Jays as the best hitter in a top defensive position. However, Conforto is three and a half years younger than Springer, does not have the Astros sign-stealing scandal on his record, and has established his bona fides in the Big Apple and the Mets.
“He is one of our natural leaders here,” Luis Rojas said of Conforto. “He’s a guy who bleeds blue and orange. He cares a lot about the team. “
Conforto dropped some news about his Zoom audience when he revealed that he contracted the coronavirus shortly before spring training. He statistically logged boring spring training and you hope the effects of the disease won’t linger.
On top of that, if it’s the Mets? Enjoy this latest episode of this show knowing that if you mark a typical Conforto year, you can afford to outperform anyone for your services. What if it marks a typical Conforto year? You should probably do just that.