Michael Conforto Open to Signing Free-Agent Contract After 2022 MLB Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 16, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 02: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets reacts after hitting a ball deep for a home run during the eighth inning of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on October 2, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Major League Baseball teams will have the chance to add a veteran piece to their outfield without having to trade anyone in July.

Michael Conforto's agent, Scott Boras, told Joel Sherman of the New York Post his client will be open to signing with a team following the draft that lasts from July 17-19. Since the New York Mets made him a qualifying offer, there will be draft-pick compensation tied to him until the draft is over.

"No team will sign Michael before then," Boras said while revealing "multiple" clubs have reached out about potentially signing him in the aftermath.

Conforto rejected New York's $18.4 million qualifying offer ahead of the 2022 season, which became all the more notable when it was revealed he suffered a shoulder injury during the offseason that required surgery.

He was expected to be out until 2023, but Boras said he may be able to hit by September if his rehab process goes according to plan.

It wasn't long ago Conforto was a major offensive force.

The 2017 All-Star slashed .322/.412/.515 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 54 games during the shortened 2020 season. However, his numbers took a dip last season, and he slashed .232/.344/.384 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI in 2021.

That dip in production, along with the health concerns, will surely limit his value after the draft even if there remains a possibility he can hit in September. He can at least take solace in the fact there is now a designated hitter in the National League as well, meaning more teams could be in the market for a veteran bat like Conforto even if he can't play the field.

The 29-year-old has only played for the Mets since he entered the league in the 2015 season, so he may have the chance to suit up for someone else if a team does take a chance on him in July.