The Mets have put the ball in Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard’s court with regards to their future in Queens.
The club extended qualifying offers to Conforto and Syndergaard, the Mets announced Saturday night, ahead of Sunday’s 5 p.m. deadline. The outfielder and right-handed pitcher have 10 days to accept or decline the one-year, $18.4 million contract — either to come back to the Mets or head to free agency.
If either declines the qualifying offer and signs with another team, the Mets would receive a compensatory pick in return.
Syndergaard appears likelier than Conforto to accept it, having pitched just two innings over the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020. The 29-year-old indicated in September that he was hoping to receive the qualifying offer and that he would be “extremely grateful” for it.
“I’m fairly certain that we’ll reach an agreement and I’ll probably be pitching here next year,” Syndergaard said after his season debut on Sept. 28. “I would love nothing more than that. New York has a special place in my heart and always will be.”
The offer to Syndergaard banks on his potential. His comeback from Tommy John took longer than expected and when he did get back to the Mets — making just two one-inning starts before the season ended — he was not throwing his slider or curveball. He said he was medically advised not to throw the slider for the rest of this season and then decided on his own he should make the same decision for his curveball.
Conforto appeared headed for a big payday this offseason until having a down year. The 28-year-old right fielder hit just .232 with 14 home runs and a 101 OPS-plus (100 is league average) in 125 games after thriving in the shortened 2020 season. He had an emotional final game of the season at Citi Field, knowing it could have been his last if he heads to free agency and signs elsewhere.
“We’ll see what happens in the future,” Conforto said after that game during a press conference when he fought back tears. “But I loved every second that I was blessed to come play here in New York.”