MLB trade rumors: Mets nearly dealt Michael Conforto for Tigers star

Sometimes it's the trades you don't make that turn out best. For the Mets, it's still to early to predict greatness and a bounce-back year for outfielder Michael Conforto. But if the young lefty swinger does have a big impact on the 2017 team, we'll look...

MLB trade rumors: Mets nearly dealt Michael Conforto for Tigers star

Sometimes it's the trades you don't make that turn out best. For the Mets, it's still to early to predict greatness and a bounce-back year for outfielder Michael Conforto. But if the young lefty swinger does have a big impact on the 2017 team, we'll look...

27 February 2017 Monday 10:23
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MLB trade rumors: Mets nearly dealt Michael Conforto for Tigers star

Sometimes it's the trades you don't make that turn out best.

For the Mets, it's still to early to predict greatness and a bounce-back year for outfielder Michael Conforto. But if the young lefty swinger does have a big impact on the 2017 team, we'll look back on a deal general manager Sandy Alderson didn't complete during the winter.

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Mets and Tigers talked about a one-for-one deal of Conforto for veteran outfielder J.D. Martinez before the Mets re-upped Yoenis Cespedes to serve as the team's right-handed hitting slugger.

The Mets seriously discussed a straight-up swap of Michael Conforto for J.D. Martinez before re-signing Cespedes but ultimately decided that one year of Martinez for Conforto wasn't enough. For a while, though, it was a real consideration.

Even if Conforto's red-hot start to spring training (and possibly expanding role thanks to Lucas Duda's lingering injury issues), the deal would have been a big pay for the Mets.

Conforto's swing back?

For as good as Martinez is (145 OPS+ since 2014), we're talking about a player that's a free agent after the 2017 season. Meanwhile the Mets control Conforto's rights through the 2021 season. The 23-year-old isn't even arbitration eligible until 2019.

If New York's 2014 first-round pick can recapture the form he showed (.841 OPS) as a rookie in 2015, there's a chance he outperforms Martinez over the next four years at a fraction of the cost.

Mets prospect Amed Rosario

Joe Giglio may be reached at jgiglio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGiglioSports. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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