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What Will The Mets Do With Michael Conforto?

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Michael Conforto (Photo by Tomasso De Rosa) Michael Conforto (Photo by Tomasso De Rosa)[/caption] Have a question for Ask BA? Tweet it to J.J. (@jjcoop36) or email it to
Q: What are the Mets doing with Michael Conforto? For 2017 they potentially have Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares and Conforto. Is a trade likely? Kevin Ashcraft @kevinashcraft BA: You are correct that the Mets face a logjam in the outfield in 2017, but I don’t believe that Conforto will end up as the odd man out largely because this is a temporary surplus. Cespedes has a three-year contract but is expected to opt out after the season—although the Mets are expected to do all they can to keep him. Granderson and Bruce are both free agents after the 2017 season, and in Bruce’s case, that assumes the Mets exercise the $13 million team option they have for next season. JJ-Cooper Even if the Mets bring all three back for next year, a year from now, the Mets could find themselves in dire need of an outfielder. Conforto is a cost-controlled young outfielder who won’t even reach salary arbitration until 2019. And just as importantly, Conforto is better than the .217/.299/.412 line he has posted this season. While Conforto has avoided the disabled list, he has battled a wrist injury for much of the year. Power is a big part of Conforto’s game and his inability to consistently drive the ball as hard as he did last year explains much of his sophomore slump. Given an offseason to let his wrist heal, it’s fair to hope he can post a stat line in 2017 more in line with 2015’s .270/.335/.506. The Mets’ outfield defense for 2017 will not make anyone think of the Royals’ rangy group of speedsters with Cespedes likely to see plenty of time in center field, if he returns. Lagares most likely serves as a backup/defensive replacement on a team that tries to find time for Bruce, Granderson and Conforto in the corners. The Mets could also look at Bruce as an option at first base for next year. Bruce hasn’t played first much in his career, but he did slide over there for a few games in 2014. First base could be an option because the Mets have to decide if they are willing to offer Lucas Duda salary arbitration after he missed much of the year with a back injury. While the bulk of New York’s starting rotation is locked up for years to come, the Mets will see significant position players hit free agency after this season (Neil Walker

Preseason Top 25 Podcast

Michael Conforto joins Teddy and Michael for the Top 25 podcast.

) and next year (Bruce, Granderson and Duda). It makes sense to keep a young, cost-controlled outfielder with plenty of upside.

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