The Mets are reportedly in the market for more offense. While it might not be as flashy a move as the previously-rumored interest in Carlos Correa before the star infielder signed with the Giants, it’s just as vital.
According to multiple reports, New York has shown interest in both JD Martinez and Michael Conforto — two veteran options with sizable concerns connected to their names.
Once one of the most feared hitters in the American League, the 35-year-old Martinez was slowed down by a back injury last season. After slashing .298/.365/.561 (.926 OPS) with 162-game averages of 38 home runs and 113 RBI from 2014-2021, he batted .274 with a .790 OPS, 16 home runs, and 62 RBI in 139 games, though he did record 43 doubles.
The dip in home run production provides a concern, especially if his main role in New York would be as a designated hitter. It remains to be seen if he could perform at a defensive position if needed given his back and the Mets already have a roster spot filled by a DH-only player in Daniel Vogelbach.
Conforto missed the entire 2022 season due to a shoulder injury, which couldn’t have come at a worse time after declining the Mets’ qualifying offer following the 2021 campaign and hitting free agency.
The 29-year-old struggled mightily in his walk year two seasons ago, batting .255 with a .729 OPS, 14 home runs, and 55 RBI. So an extended absence from the majors seems to have added some trepidation to his market.
Regardless, Conforto could be seen as more of a versatile piece compared to Martinez. Not only could he check off the box of providing some DH at-bats, but he’d be another corner outfielder to provide depth behind the likes of Mark Canha and Starling Marte.
It also couldn’t hurt that he knows what comes with the territory of playing in Queens, posting a career .824 OPS with 132 home runs over his seven-year career with the Mets.