michael conforto
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The Mets have spent close to $500 million in free agency so far this offseason. They’ve spent the majority of this past week introducing (or re-introducing) those players to the media. While that’s all been happening, though, we know they’re still on the hunt for more offense. A player who appears to be front and center is their old friend, Michael Conforto.

He came up in conversation as a potential Plan B in case the Mets didn’t re-sign Brandon Nimmo, which I wasn’t a fan of. But now that Nimmo is back, New York pursuing Conforto as someone who can grab at-bats as an outfielder and designated hitter sounds better to me.

Will there be enough playing time for Scooter compared to other opportunities? I think that’s the biggest question as the left-handed hitter is in search of a short-term deal to rebuild his value.

The Yankees need another outfielder, but they haven’t been recently connected to him. Outside of the Mets, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers as other teams pursuing Conforto. Could New York have an inside track to a reunion?

Rosenthal reported that “some of the teams” involved have reservations about him throwing from the outfield at full strength. Let’s not forget that he’s coming off shoulder surgery for an injury he sustained while exercising during the lockout. Conforto’s agent, Scott Boras, has said the former first-round pick will be ready for Spring Training and is currently throwing from 150 feet.

When looking at the situations for the three teams Rosenthal mentioned, it seems like an agreement with the Mets could be the likeliest scenario.

Toronto Blue Jays

In their own pursuit of Nimmo, Toronto traded Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners to make room. After missing on the Wyoming native, the Jays pivoted and signed Kevin Kiermaier to a one-year deal. So, their current outfield situation has Kiermaier in center, George Springer in right, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left.

Kiermaier isn’t known for his offense, so one would imagine Toronto is interested in Michael Conforto for his track record in the batter’s box. But still, finding a spot for him in the outfield wouldn’t be hard. Kiermaier could turn into a fourth outfielder and Springer could shift back to center field in this case.

Texas Rangers

Texas’ starting outfield (according to Roster Resource) is a little lackluster in the offensive department. Leody Taveras, who posted a 93 wRC+ in 341 plate appearances, is penciled in for center. Adolis Garcia, who has produced consecutive 3.0-fWAR performances, is projected to play right field. Meanwhile, Josh H. Smith is currently the left fielder. He posted a 68 wRC+ in 253 plate appearances as a rookie last year.

So, it’s not shocking that they’re in the market for someone who can regularly play the outfield. If there are concerns about Conforto’s ability to field/throw, an agreement with the Rangers feels unlikely. Just based on this quick look, they have the greatest need for someone who can do more than just hit

New York Mets

New York is looking for more offense, but not necessarily someone that has to play the field every day. Nimmo is entrenched in center, as is Starling Marte in right. And at the moment, Mark Canha is the starting left fielder. Should the Mets make an acquisition that’ll push one of those guys into a fourth-outfielder role, it’d be Canha.

If the Mets are concerned with Conforto’s throwing ability, he could easily be utilized as a sporadic outfielder depending on pitching matchups, as well as collecting at-bats as a designated hitter.

By looking at the outfield situation for each of these three teams with Rosenthal’s report in mind, a Conforto-Rangers match makes the least amount of sense. Toronto probably wants more of a full-time outfielder, but they could make it work. And while New York values positional flexibility, they could also be a fit.

Of course, there could be more than just three organizations in the running for Michael Conforto. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post recently mentioned the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins as other potential suitors. We’ll have to see how things shape up moving forward. But if this is the most serious portion of his market, you’d have to think the Mets’ chances of landing him are good, if they indeed want it to happen.

Matt Musico can be reached at matt.musico@xlmedia.com and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.