Michael Conforto mystery solved for Mets’ Dominic Smith

PORT ST. LUCIE – Dominic Smith couldn’t text Michael Conforto for much of the offseason, and now he thinks he knows why.

Smith resisted reaching out to his pal to ask why he hasn’t signed with a team yet — now with less than a week to go until the regular season begins — wanting to be civil and not push himself.

So Scott Boras’ revelation on Wednesday that Conforto injured his right shoulder while diving in an exercise in January, which slowed his market, made a lot of sense.

“I don’t think anyone knew that. We were all wondering pretty much the same thing, like, What’s going on? Smith said Thursday before the Mets host the national championships at Clover Park. “It’s a weird situation where you don’t want to hit somebody up and ask like, ‘Hey, why haven’t you signed yet?’ You just want it all to play out.

Conforto’s agent told The Post’s Joel Sherman that the outfielder asked to delay contract talks until Conforto’s shoulder is fully healed. The 28-year-old’s swing plane is now “normal,” Boras said, and he trains for teams in Arizona.

Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto
Corey Sipkin; New York Post: Charles Wenzelberg

“It’s sad, but I have hope for him,” Smith said, “and hopefully a team will sign him because he’s still a great player. He’s still super young.

With Conforto’s talent, he could one day envision “a few hundred million dollars,” Smith said. But his 2021 season — in which he hit .232 with 14 homers in a down year — surely hurt his market.

So did the Mets making a qualifying offer, which Boras and Conforto rejected. Whichever non-Mets team signs him will owe the Mets a draft pick.

“It’s hard. I don’t know exactly what is going on in his situation, how [the qualifying offer] affects him,” said his friend Jeff McNeil, who had also not heard of the injury until now. “But I know being tied to his signing could make some teams sensitive.”

Boras didn’t give a timeline on when Conforto will sign with a team, but said: “There’s a lot of interest in this guy.”

The Mets, who imported outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, have shown no interest.

“We’re all very close to him,” said Smith, who has played in the majors alongside Conforto since 2017. “Obviously once he’s signed we’ll be in touch and I’m sure we we’ll talk a lot about it.”

New York Post

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