With the Mets off to a lousy start and Michael Conforto’s contract set to expire, might the Padres see if he’s available for outfield help?
The Padres are spiraling and have a bunch of injuries right now. The outfield has been the most impacted with the loss of Tommy Pham, who underwent surgery to repair a broken hamate bone on Monday. Wil Myers was ruled out for the second consecutive day with back tightness, so the Padres rolled out an outfield of Jurickson Profar – Trent Grisham – Josh Naylor in the opener against the Rangers.
That kind of defensive alignment is not sustainable, and if the Friars don’t want to watch another season go down the drain, they should consider making a trade for an outfielder. Of course, Yasiel Puig remains available on the free-agent market, but no one is exactly jumping the gun on him either.
Enter Michael Conforto.
The Oregon State product was the tenth overall pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, playing 56 games during the 2015 season while posting a .270/.335/.506 line with nine home runs and 26 RBI.
He’s become a regular in the Mets outfield, logging the most time in left field, but he can play all three positions for a combined .989 fielding percentage. Through 23 games this season, Conforto is batting .313 (.888 OPS) with four doubles, three home runs, and 11 RBI.
With the Mets sitting at an underwhelming 9-14 entering Monday’s play, the team could offload several contracts, including Conforto, who will become a free agent after the 2021 season.
The 27-year-old has played really well in the shortened season thus far, hitting .322 against fastballs and .286 and .250 off breaking and offspeed pitches, respectively. His other numbers are right in line with career-averages, and he’s been the definition of consistency throughout his career.
The Mets farm system is top-heavy with position players but have both top-ten pitching prospects Mattew Allan and J.T. Ginn projected to reach the majors by 2023. They, of course, have Jacob deGrom anchoring the rotation, but all three of Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha will become free agents after the year.
The Padres have an abundance of pitching prospects, and a trade package of Michel Baez and Cal Quantrill seems like a fair return. The Friars get an outfielder that they can immediately plug-in, and the Mets get potentially two starters who are under team control through the 2025 season.