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Free-agent outfielder Michael Conforto is drawing interest from the Texas Rangers, New York Mets and Houston Astros, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
The Miami Marlins have also shown interest in the former Met, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Conforto missed all of the 2022 season while recovering from a shoulder injury that required surgery.
The 29-year-old spent the first seven years of his career with the Mets and is considered one of the best lefty bats in baseball. His best season came in 2017, when he slashed .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in 109 games en route to his first-ever All-Star Game selection.
Before missed the 2022 campaign, Conforto hit .232/.344/.384 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI in 125 games.
While he’s been productive for much of his career, there are still questions about how Conforto will perform in 2023 after being sidelined for an extended period of time. There’s really no way of telling until someone takes a chance on him.
That said, Conforto’s agent, Scott Boras, recently told reporters that the outfielder is “back to full health, hitting great and we’re talking to a number of teams about him right now.”
The Rangers have done a lot of work over the last two offseasons to upgrade their roster in order to compete in the AL West. But while they have added the likes of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, it’s clear they could still use an outfielder bat or two.
Entering 2023, the Rangers are expected to deploy an outfield that includes Bubba Thompson, Leody Taveras and Adolis García. Conforto can play any outfield position, but he has spent much of his time playing in left and right field.
García currently occupies right field for the Rangers, so it’s possible Conforto would play in left field if signed by the Rangers.
Conforto’s impact on the Mets is pretty self explanatory considering he has spent his entire career in Queens up to this point. If he returns, he’ll join an outfield group that includes Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte.
The Astros, meanwhile, are short a corner outfielder entering the 2023 campaign. Kyle Tucker is expected to be Houston’s rightfielder, and Chas McCormick will likely play in center, but they could use Conforto in left field.
Adding Conforto to a lineup that already includes Yordan Alvarez, Jeremy Peña, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and José Abreu would help push the Astros closer to repeating as World Series champions next season.
In Miami, the Marlins are desperate for any offensive help they can get, and Conforto would join an outfield unit that includes J.J. Bleday, Bryan De La Cruz and Avisaíl García. However, the potential addition of Conforto alone likely wouldn’t do much to vault Miami into playoff contention.