NEW YORK – The calendar is now moving towards spring training and yet the Mets and Michael Conforto have not discussed an extension. Team President Sandy Alderson called Conforto back in November to tell him that Major League Baseball is honoring him on his All-MLB Second Team. “Our conversations didn’t go away
NEW YORK – The calendar is now heading towards spring training, and still the Mets and
Team President Sandy Alderson called Conforto back in November to tell him that Major League Baseball is honoring him on his All-MLB Second Team.
“Our discussions did not go beyond that,” said Conforto on Tuesday before the 41st annual Thurman Munson Awards.
That doesn’t mean the sides expect to be calm. Their current silence simply shortens the window in which they can speak. Earlier this off-season, Alderson said he intended to open communications with Conforto and its agents as soon as spring training approaches. Now the start of the camp is less than two weeks away and Conforto stated that he would like to have a resolution before the opening day without setting a hard deadline for negotiations.
“I don’t want it to be a distraction,” said Conforto, who recently signed a $ 12.25 million one-year deal to avoid arbitration in his final season before the free agency. “I don’t want the expansion material, the selfish material, to be something that gets in the way of winning games. I don’t want it to be a distraction from what we’re trying to do this year. I don’t want it to linger in season. … I want to make sure that we focus on the main objective here and that is sweepstakes. “
With Conforto, who has had his best year as a big leader, although in a shortened season with 60 games, the Mets seem to be well positioned for this. In addition to Conforto, who scored .322 / .412 / .515 in 54 games with nine homers, the team has taken on Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, James McCann, Trevor May, Joey Lucchesi, Aaron Loup and others and converted a squad, who finished in fourth place last season. And there is still the possibility of more. The Mets recently held talks with the free agent starter Trevor Bauer, among others. Conforto says he’s a fan of bringing Bauer on board.
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All of this has been enough for the Mets to generate hype as one of the best teams in the National League – something their starting player warns against embracing too full.
“We all understand that the New York Mets, people are talking about them,” Conforto said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean anything if we go out there and lose more games than we win. Talking is cheap. We have to get out of there and put in the work and we have to win a lot of games. “
According to Conforto, the responsibility for this rests largely on his shoulders as well as on Lindor – another prominent veteran who wants to take on a leadership role in the clubhouse. Mets officials have announced that they also intend to negotiate an extension with Lindor, which many in the industry expect to close a long-term deal north of $ 300 million. While Conforto expects to receive less, it would still require a significant commitment. And he regards Lindor’s negotiations as completely separate from his own.
Unlike Lindor, Conforto is a popular local player who has been in New York since 2015. The Munson Awards on Tuesday underscored this. Conforto has taken home an award given annually to athletes from three states who demonstrate “Success and Inspiration on the Pitch” and community spirit from the field. The awards went to the AHRC NYC Foundation, which is committed to “Helping People with Mental and Developmental Disabilities Build Full Lives”. Conforto also remains active in MLBPA proceedings, which has made him as popular inside the walls of the clubhouse as it is outside.
From Mets fans the urge to expand Conforto is strong.
The next eight weeks will determine exactly how plausible that might be.
“I’m not that interested in the expansion material. I think it will take care of itself, ”said Conforto. “I think Francisco would tell you the same thing: We are determined to win games this year. That is our main concern. That’s our # 1 motivation. … It’s not about our numbers. It’s not about what kind of money we’re going to make. It’s about how many games we’re going to win. “