It's rare you see the New York Mets gooding good news on the injury front. However, they got just that on Wednesday night when Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that Michael Conforto will begin swinging a bat in January, putting him on a timetable to be fully ready to go for spring training ahead of the 2018 season.
Conforto's solid 2017 campaign was cut devastatingly short after he dislocated his shoulder just by swinging the bat. That's the kind of luck the Mets had last season.
In 109 games, the 24-year-old lefty slugged 27 home runs and knocked in 68 RBI with a team-leading .384 on-base percentage. Garnering his first-career All-Star selection, he clearly showed that he was capable of becoming the team's every-day right fielder assuming Yoenis Cespedes is healthy in left and the Mets nab free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain, formerly of the Kansas City Royals.
Initially, after suffering the shoulder injury in late August though, Conforto's start of the 2018 season was in doubt as it was originally believed he would be good to go at least a month or two into the year.
It prompted Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to say on Wednesday just hours before Conforto's good news came down, via SNY's Danny Abriano, that he would be looking for a player that could cycle between first base and the outfield. Now with Conforto on his way back, that means the Mets just might be looking for a first baseman.
The Mets have been linked with free-agent first baseman Carlos Santana, who has averaged 25 home runs over an eight-year spell with the Cleveland Indians, as the team seems unhappy with the development and six-week debut of Dominic Smith, formerly the team's No. 2 prospect behind shortstop Amed Rosario.