The New York Mets have officially extended qualifying offers to outfielder Michael Conforto and starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Now the question will one or both of them accept it?
Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard should accept the qualifying offer from the New York Mets
With the one-year, $18.4 million offer now in the hands of both Conforto and Syndergaard, it makes sense for both of them to accept the offer and return to the New York Mets in 2022. Both have something to prove next season in terms of health, and both can use the one-year contract to try to parlay those moments of proof into a bigger payday.
For Syndergaard, the 29-year-old right-hander made just two starts last season, each lasting one inning in the season’s final week as he made his return from Tommy John surgery. Syndergaard has already said he would be “grateful” to receive a qualifying offer, so it makes sense that he would accept it, hoping to return to the form that has seen him flash dominance at times since he came into the league in early 2015.
Conforto, meanwhile, is coming off his worst statistical season (101 OPS+) since 2016 and has doubters to silence. The 28-year-old Conforto battled a strained hamstring and played in just 125 games in 2021, 72 of those coming after the All-Star break where he slashed .252/.347/.445 compared to .202/.341/.298 in his first 53 games.
After making $12.25 million last season, the qualifying offer will provide a pay raise for Conforto as he proves he is the player who put up a 154 OPS+ in 54 games in 2020 and 122 or higher in his previous three seasons, including 148 in his All-Star season of 2017.
There has been talk that Conforto will explore free agency for a bigger payday. However, coming off last season, that seems like a larger gamble than proving himself with the Mets and then exploring free agency in 2023.
Both have until November 17 to accept the offers, but the thought for either player to accept the offer and return to the Mets shouldn’t take that long.