You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Mets.
Any update on [Michael] Conforto’s oblique? — @PatCollins63
Conforto is taking regular batting practice and team officials seem encouraged by his workouts, based on what I have heard in recent days. It’s probable that Conforto, six weeks removed from straining his right oblique, would have already returned to the lineup (or been close to it) if the season had started as scheduled. So barring any kind of setback, the Mets are counting on Conforto at full strength should spring training resume. Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie fall into the category of needing to show they can handle the grind of full baseball workouts in their comeback attempts. That will entail getting on the field and running bases and demonstrating they are sound defensively before a determination about their status can be reached.
Do you think the Mets have any interest in extending Marcus Stroman? Do you think they should? — @nocronosrvce
The Mets have enough money coming off the books this winter (Cespedes, Lowrie, David Wright and Wilson Ramos, among others) that addressing the rotation should be a top priority. Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz are the only healthy Mets starting pitchers under contract for next year, leaving a void even if Seth Lugo were shifted to the rotation. Stroman was solid in his work for the Mets over the final two months of last season and would slot nicely behind deGrom, so it makes sense for general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to extend him. That is, unless Van Wagenen can orchestrate another trade in-season — should there be a season — that brings the incumbent’s replacement. Van Wagenen took that tactic last year in acquiring Stroman from the Blue Jays, with the idea Zack Wheeler would be leaving through free agency.
If the Mets decided to deal Noah Syndergaard, what would his value be and what positions are in need of strengthening? — @ChiefRese
If the Mets are dealing Syndergaard, it probably won’t be until the summer of 2021, after he has returned from Tommy John surgery and shown he can resume at a respectable level. At that point Syndergaard will be nearing free agency, so the Mets would encounter the same issue as last summer with Wheeler: the return in a trade likely isn’t going to be great. The Mets could use a center fielder and catcher. Trading Syndergaard to somebody as a rental next season probably doesn’t solve either need long term.
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Would players need almost a second spring training to get ready once the season is relatively close to starting? That could delay the start even further if that’s the case. — @elliotfuchs24
It’s probably safe to assume players would need two or three weeks of spring training before a season could begin. With the NBA about to allow individual workouts in team facilities in states that are reopening, perhaps MLB will follow suit. The biggest factor, should spring training resume, will be stretching out pitchers who will not have faced batters in at least two or three months.
Is the World Series victory the only thing keeping Tom Seaver as the best Mets player all-time over David Wright? — @waitforit_vin
Comparing pitchers and position players is tricky, but beyond the 1969 World Series title, Seaver was an elite performer for the Mets for a full decade and established the crux of his Hall of Fame resume during his time in Queens. Seaver and Steve Carlton were above the rest among NL pitchers of the 1970s. Wright’s career was on a Hall of Fame trajectory through his initial five or six seasons, but injuries prevented him from finishing what he started. It would be difficult to put Wright on Seaver’s level even if the Mets had won the World Series in 2015.
If you could play in any ballpark that no longer exists, which ballpark would it be and why? — @TheKidFromBKLYN
For whatever reason, I have always been intrigued by the Mets’ first home, the Polo Grounds. It might be the horseshoe shape of the ballpark, which made it something of an anomaly, with short dimensions to each foul pole and an expansive center field in which it was nearly impossible to clear the fence. But the Polo Grounds also holds an aura because of the big college football games and heavyweight boxing tilts that happened there, in addition to serving as the first home for the football Giants (and later the Jets). Honorable mention goes to the original Yankee Stadium (pre-1976 version), Ebbets Field and War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, where “The Natural” was filmed.
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