Michael Conforto undergoes a shoulder operation that ends the season

Michael comfort was operated on in his right shoulder earlier this week, New York Post reports Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Conforto will be out of action throughout the 2022 season, but is expected to be ready for spring training.

Agent Scott Boras revealed his client’s shoulder problems in late March, saying Conforto suffered a strain while training in January, but he had since resumed striking. Just yesterday, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that Conforto has still not been able to throw and that he was initially presented with the possibility of surgery earlier in the season, but chose to endure going under the knife. In a follow-up tweet from Heyman, Conforto decided between either getting the “cleanup procedure” done now or waiting until after the season.

Reviewing the surgery now makes sense given Conforto’s still unsigned status. If he got a one-year deal with a team for a proportionate salary, it is very possible that the shoulder problems would prevent Conforto from performing at an acceptable level. Coming after a moderately difficult 2021 season, a downturn in 2022 and then a shoulder operation in the low season would essentially crater Conforto’s market in the 2022-23 competition with free players, whereas he can now have the operation and then go into next winter with a slightly cleaner slate.

Sitting out in 2022 also removes the qualifying offer as a factor in Conforto’s market. He rejected the Mets’ one-year, $ 18.4MM QO last fall, and therefore any team that had to sign Conforto would have to give up at least one draft pick as compensation. As Conforto now still will not sign until after the 2022 draft, the attached compensation no longer applies and players are only eligible to be tagged with the QO once in their career. (Although the qualifying bidding system may be abandoned anyway, international drafts of negotiations between the league and MLBPA await later this summer.)

Passing on the QO now seems like a mistake in the rearview mirror for Conforto, and the decision even bore its share of controversy prior to his injury. Conforto hit an unspectacular .232 / .344 / .384 with 14 homeruns over 479 PA with New York last season, leading to speculation that he would either accept the qualifying offer or sign a one-year pillow contract of a similar value. (This was MLBTR’s theory, which predicted a $ 20 million one-year pact for Conforto in the open market.) With a secured one-season payday, Conforto would then look to return and deliver a season similar to his prime year 2015-20. . , thus putting him up for a major multi-year contract next winter.

The Marlins, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Padres all had some interest in Conforto last winter, and up to a dozen teams at least checked into his services closer to the start of the free agent period. Again, it’s easy to say in hindsight that Conforto “should” have signed somewhere earlier in the offseason, though we do not know what types of actual offers (if any) were on the table before the lockout.

Given Conforto’s production before 2021, it seems likely that he should be able to land a one-year, guaranteed big league deal in the low season if he recovers well from his surgery, even though that salary is a good distance south of $ 18.4 million. Whether he will finally land the Great Perennial Pact is still unknown, as Conforto will have to post some big numbers to clear up any lingering doubts about his health or age (he turns 31 on opening day 2024). In more immediate business, however, Conforto will simply have to focus on retraining his shoulder and getting himself all the way up to level again.

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