The Mets and Tigers seriously discussed a one-for-one swap that would have sent J.D. Martinez to New York for Michael Conforto, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman. The Mets instead chose to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, opting not to part with Conforto for one year of Martinez.
Detroit was known to be open to selling this winter, but ultimately just sent Cameron Maybin to the Angels while holding onto veterans like Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. The Mets explored outfield options before coming to terms with Cespedes on a four-year deal in December, but were always considered the top destination for him and were able to get a deal done.
Conforto, who turns 24 this week, is controlled through the 2021 season, while Martinez will become a free agent next fall. From the Mets’ point of view, losing a valuable long-term asset for a rental player like Martinez was not deemed sensible.
Detroit could look to deal Martinez and other veterans if it is out of contention at the non-waiver trade deadline this summer, and the outfielder will surely draw interest. In his age-28 season last year, he was worth 1.8 WAR while hitting .307/.373/.535 with 22 homers in 120 games.