The New York Yankees might be able to capitalize on a terrible decision by former Mets outfielder Michael Conforto. Conforto elected to skip out on free agency in 2021, turning down a $100 million offer from the Mets that might’ve gone even further, but he will not have to settle for a much cheaper deal to gain leverage after not playing in 2022.
At 29 years old, Conforto hit .232 with a 34.4% on-base rate back in 2021 across 125 games. His career averages include a .255 average with a 35.6% on-base rate, a 124 wRC+, 132 career homers, and nearly 400 RBIs. Back in 2019, with juiced baseballs, Conforto hit 33 homers, including a 39% hard-hit rate. His power seems to be right in line with his career averages, but after sustaining a shoulder injury, we will have to see if he’s back to 100%.
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The Yankees can land Michael Conforto on a very reasonable deal:
Conforto may be willing to play on a short-term contract to boost his value and leverage it into a long-term deal. Considering he’s only 29, he could bounce back in 2023 on a strong Yankees team and boost his stock moving forward, landing a nice payday for the future.
Considering he features a lefty bat and has over 2000 innings of experience in left field, he certainly fits the bill for the Bombers. He’s earned eight outs above average in left, which is easily his best outfield position, struggling to a degree in right and center field.
The upside of Conforto is exactly why the Yankees should bring him in, especially since he will be much cheaper than overspending on a trade for Bryan Reynolds or even Michael Brantley, who is a 35-year-old offensive maestro.
In Yankee Stadium, Conforto may be able to boost his home run numbers significantly. He tends to spray the ball quite easily around the field, but if the Yankees can tweak his strategy in the batter’s box, pulling the ball a bit more, he could see a major influx in short right porch long balls.
With Andrew Benintendi signing a five-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, the options are dwindling for the Yankees. There has been rumored interest in Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins via trade, but spending money is always a bit more efficient than expanding prospects or starting-level talent.
Kepler and Conforto will likely cost a similar amount, so I imagine the Yankees would prefer to spend money rather than trade assets to land a defensive maestro in Kepler but an inconsistent offensive threat.