The New York Mets announced late Saturday night that they extended qualifying offers to starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard and right fielder Michael Conforto.
Qualifying offers this offseason are worth $18.4 million for the 2022 campaign. Players offered such deals have until Nov. 17 to decide whether or not to accept it.
Syndergaard certainly seemed as though he would accept the offer when speaking at the end of September upon his 2021 debut.
“It’s something I’d be extremely grateful for,” Syndergaard said
. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. It’s definitely something I’m hoping for.”
Acceptance would provide some stability for the 29-year-old, who has had anything but that over the last two years.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Syndergaard missed the entire 2020 season and was originally projected to return during the first half of 2021. But setbacks in his rehab pushed his return to late September when the Mets were all but out of the playoff race.
The one-year deal would allow Syndergaard to prove to the organization that he can still be a frontline starting pitcher. From 2015-18, the hard-throwing right-hander posted a 2.93 ERA and 573 strikeouts in 518.1 innings pitched before arm issues led to a down 2019 campaign in which he posted a 4.28 ERA over 32 starts.
At 100% health in 2022, Syndergaard could bridge this qualifying offer to a big-time deal should he regain his form.
While he is more likely to accept the Mets’ offer based on his comments earlier this year, the book is still out on Conforto.
The 28-year-old is coming off one of his worst offensive seasons as a pro, slashing .232/.344/.384 (.729 OPS) in 129 games with 14 home runs and 55 RBI. It all but destroyed any hope of him getting the massive $200 million-plus deal that he could have flirted with had he hit free agency last offseason.
Regardless, Conforto’s representation might be more inclined to test the free-agency waters this winter to see if he can get a long-term, big-time deal should the rest of the league view his down 2021 as more of an anomaly than anything.
“I definitely have thought about it. I mean, the options are wide open,” Conforto said in mid-September. “It very well could not be the end of my time here. It may be, but it very well couldn’t be.
“I grew up here, I learned a lot here, my professional career was here.”