The Mets had a trying 2021 season, especially in the second half where they went from prohibitive favorites in the National League East to finishing the season well below .500 in third place and 11.5 games behind the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
For Noah Syndergaard, it was a lost season as he suffering a setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery that kept him off the field. For Michael Conforto, it was most certainly a down year as he slashed .232/.344/.384 just one year removed from an excellent 2020 campaign.
Both players are hitting free agency and it looks like the Mets think they can either force them to come back on one year deals or, at the very least, get some draft pick compensation if they sign elsewhere.
Mets are extending the qualifying offer to Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2021
Both players have complicated free agent cases this offseason, so their decisions and their fallouts will be fascinating to watch. Syndergaard is absolutely one of the most talented arms in the game of baseball when he is healthy...but he has had a lot of trouble actually STAYING healthy with not only a troubled recovery from Tommy John, but also injuries to his finger and lat muscle on his resume. Teams may be a bit wary to pay him what he wants with that injury history combined with the qualifying offer attached.
As for Conforto, he is now coming off a down year and while he has been pretty good for the Mets, the question becomes how much he wants in free agency and whether or not he is willing to bet on himself by signing the QO and becoming an unrestricted free agent next year.
Both their decisions will be with the backdrop of the upcoming CBA negotiations that could change the rules of free agency and team control completely. How they handle their decisions (as well as other QO free agents) could be instructive on how players think these negotiations will go.