If the Mets are indeed back in on the Michael Conforto hunt, they’re going to have plenty of competition — which was obviously expected.
The Colorado Rockies are one of the teams that have been identified as a team interested in the 29-year-old right-fielder, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
Mets manager Buck Showalter let slip that the Mets are at least mulling the possibility of a reunion with Conforto, who declined the team’s qualifying offer of $18 million back in November.
It initially suggested that his time in Queens was over after seven seasons as he set off on the free-agency market.
The owner-induced lockout hampered and ultimately delayed his representation’s ability to properly scour the market — and it remains unforeseen just how long it will be until he can begin speaking with teams.
After the talks broke down between MLB and the players’ union broke down on Tuesday — prompting commissioner Rob Manfred to cancel Opening Day and the first two series of the season — informal talks were held between Dan Halem of MLB and Bruce Meyer of the union in New York on Thursday.
The Rockies are looking for some more pop in a lineup that was tied for 21st in the league in home runs last season — a puzzling number given their home at the thin-aired, hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field in Denver.
Conforto has the track history to fill such a void. Over a four-year stretch from 2017-2020 (467 games), he slashed .265/.369/.495 (.864 OPS) with 162-game averages of 34 home runs and 95 RBI. A shortened 2020 season offered even more promise when he posted a .927 OPS with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 54 games.
But his disastrous 2021 season (.232/.344/.384, 14 HR) has made him a wild card of sorts — which indicated the Mets were done with him after he turned down that qualifying offer.
Just before the lockout, New York brought on Starling Marte and Mark Canha to complete an outfield that would also feature Brandon Nimmo. However, the introduction of the universal DH in 2022 provides another avenue for Conforto to return while bolstering the Mets’ depth in the outfield.