Agent Scott Boras said Michael Conforto had a rough 2021...

Agent Scott Boras said Michael Conforto had a rough 2021 because of COVID-19 and "It was unrelated to his abilities." Credit: Jim McIsaac

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Michael Conforto has received "extraordinary" interest in the opening days of free agency, his agent Scott Boras said Wednesday, adding that he expects the Mets’ longtime rightfielder to sign a long-term deal — somewhere.

Boras also blamed the lingering effects of COVID-19, which Conforto contracted shortly before spring training, for his mediocre 2021 season.

"They [teams] all know who he is and they all know what happened to him early in 2021," he said at the general managers’ meetings. "It was unrelated to his abilities."

Conforto said in August that he did not believe COVID-19 impacted his performance.

Although Conforto will reject the Mets’ one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer, he is willing to keep talking to the only major-league organization he has known, according to Boras.

"When players become free agents, they know where they’ve been," Boras said. "They’re getting an opportunity to understand where they can go. And then they have to make that decision.

"I don’t know how you register his intent. He’s open to obviously listening to the Mets and a number of other teams. He has a lot of meetings ahead of him. He really does."

Rocker to re-enter draft

After the Mets drafted him in the first round but did not sign him, former Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker will re-enter the MLB draft in 2022, Boras said.

"Kumar Rocker is looking great, throwing great," he said. "We think somebody is going to be very, very lucky — and someone may be very, very unlucky — as to how things turn out with Kumar Rocker."

The Mets selected Rocker with the 10th overall pick and expressed immediately afterward how happy and excited they were that the righthander, a former potential No. 1 overall pick, had fallen to them. But they became concerned about something that came up during his physical and opted not to sign him.

Because they did not agree to a contract with their first-round pick, the Mets will get an extra draft choice, No. 11 overall, in the 2022 draft.


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