Mets struggling in Michael Conforto contract negotiations

MLB Spring Training, New York Mets

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The New York Mets are focused on extending Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor this spring.

Lindor has set a deadline of Opening Day to agree to an extension that is likely to exceed $300 million. The Mets are willing to go there, understanding Lindor will be the face of their franchise for the next decade-plus, for better or worse.

Conforto, however, is a tougher discussion. He took major steps forward in the shortened 2020 season, batting .322 with a .412 OBP in 54 games. That’s a large enough sample size, coming off a relatively productive 2019 campaign, to warrant a contract extension. How much Conforto is worth, however, varies depending on who you ask.

Conforto doesn’t have a long track record of star-level success, so expecting the Mets to offer a contract somewhere around the Justin Upton-Nicholas Castellanos level is probably fair. For those unfamiliar, that’s about $20 million per year. The Mets expect Conforto to make around $15 million in arbitration alone in 2021, so any extension would have to exceed that.

Mets: Michael Conforto is focused on baseball

“At this point, I’m pretty much just focused on baseball. I’m not really interested in speaking about the contract stuff. It’s between me, my family, my agent and the team,” Conforto said earlier this week.“I like the people I come to work with every single day. It’s been a good place for me, I’ve grown up a lot, I’ve learned a lot, and I love the city.”

Conforto wants to stay in New York, but he’s represented by Scott Boras. These won’t be easy negotiations, and they aren’t going the Mets’ way so far, per Jon Heyman.

Steve Cohen isn’t shy about flaunting his billionaire status, but that doesn’t mean he’s willing to make bad investments. Conforto can qualify as a good investment, should his price point come down to a level the Mets are comfortable with.

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