While it feels like there is no end in sight when it comes to the lockout and the back-and-forth between MLB and the players, it’s fun to reflect and think about baseball being back hopefully soon. With meetings ramping up this week, and hopefully a possible agreement met by this upcoming Monday, let’s think of some possible players that could fit with the Cubs. I feel that one of the best and most under-appreciated names on the current free agent market right now is former Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.
Conforto is a very interesting player when looking at the market. He is coming off his worst season and that has really hurt his value going into this offseason looking for a new deal. Prior to this offseason, Conforto was projected near that $100 million mark; his poor performance last season and the lockout obviously hurt his chances getting that.
The discussion that comes about now is can Conforto try and land himself or is he going to try and play on a one-year bet on himself type of deal. I think if Conforto turns to a one-year prove it deal, the Cubs should push all the chips in to try and get this guy.
Chicago Cubs: Where does Michael Conforto fit in the team’s plans?
Last winter, the Cubs did something similar with Joc Pederson, take a flyer on a guy that has had success in the past and try and turn the player back into his prime form. For Conforto, that sweet left-handed swing might be a perfect fit in the Friendly Confines. It would benefit the Cubs to have a left-handed power bat to truly round out this lineup, as most of the big hitters are coming from the right-side.
Conforto’s 2022 projections show him hitting about .253 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI. That would definitely be a nice bounce back from his poor 2021 and he would fit in the middle of the Chicago lineup perfectly.
I also think it would work as the Cubs would have a sure-fire everyday outfielder that stands out compared to the mixed back of outfielders currently on the Cubs (Heyward, Happ, Ortega, Frazier, etc.). When looking at the current state of this outfield, it makes a lot sense for the them to pursue a proven commodity once this lockout finally comes to an end.
The Cubs should take a swing at Conforto if given the chance post-lockout. He is a consistent player who would fit perfectly in the middle of the lineup as well as anchor the current state of the team’s outfield. Whether its a one-year prove-it or a multi-year deal, I think anything is worth it to get this former All-Star playing for the Cubbies.