Michael Conforto could be playing final games in Mets uniform

The next 16 games will decide the Mets’ fate, whether they squeeze into the postseason or miss it for the fifth consecutive year, but it’s Michael Conforto who has more at stake than anyone.

Depending on how the remainder of the season goes, Conforto could be just three weeks away from becoming a free agent for the first time in his career — and his walk year certainly hasn’t gone as he hoped.

In early August, Conforto had a .197/.324/.325 slash line. The 28-year-old may have been able to finish the month strong amid the team’s catastrophic collapse, batting .276 with four homers, but his overall offensive struggles this season have cast a shadow of uncertainty over his future in Flushing.

“I definitely have thought about it,” said Conforto, who invited five patients and their families from Cohen Children’s Medical Center to Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals as part of his Conforto Cares program, which was created in 2017 in honor of his mom’s little sister, who passed away from pediatric cancer.

Michael Conforto
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

“But, I mean, the options are wide open. [It] very well could not be the end of my time here, you know, it may be, but it very well could be. I will say, I grew up here, I learned a lot here, my professional career was here. I’m just focused on finishing the season strong with my teammates, hopefully not in early October. We want to make that postseason push. And then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Considering the Mets are one of five teams separated by three games for the one spot in the NL wild-card race, management will likely have to make the difficult decision regarding Conforto’s future sooner rather than later.

Both Conforto and pitcher Noah Syndergaard are eligible for the one-year qualifying offer that will be around $20 million. It’s unlikely the Mets would be willing to submit the offer to Syndergaard, who is scheduled to throw live batting practice Wednesday as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery that has cost him the last two seasons. The righty would figure to accept the offer if it’s extended.

Asked if he would accept a qualifying offer, should the Mets extend one to him, or weigh his options, Conforto said it was too early to say.

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Michael Conforto hitting during the Subway Series.
Michael Conforto hitting during the Subway Series.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“I believe I’m just getting started in my career,” he said. “No matter what next season looks like, whether or not it’s what I wanted it to be when I started this season, I’m just getting started. I’ve learned a lot this year and I’m hoping that we’re not going to be done in early October. That’s what I’m focused on.”

Conforto, who has looked better at the plate lately, lost a large chunk of his season due to a hamstring injury. In his last seven appearances entering Tuesday, however, the outfielder was 8-for-27 (.296) with one homer and three RBIs — in addition to a .406 on-base percentage.

The season may not have gone according to his plan, but Conforto can certainly make these (potentially) final few games count.

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