On Tuesday, ESPN's Buster Olney reported MLB's new qualifying offer will be set at $18.4 million in 2022 [$18.9 million in 2021].
So, what does this mean for the Mets who have an opportunity to try to hang on to pending free agents Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto for at least one more season?
Last year, the Mets gave Marcus Stroman the previous one-year offer which was slightly higher, despite the right-hander not throwing an inning in 2020.
The Mets could at least extend qualifying offers to Syndergaard and Conforto because if they reject them and choose to sign elsewhere, New York will receive draft picks as compensation for their departure.
Recently, sources told Inside the Mets that the team is still having internal discussions on whether to extend said qualifying offers to Syndergaard and/or Conforto.
Nothing has been decided as of yet, but the QO period will begin after the World Series ends in the next few weeks, so we should know what route they choose to go soon enough.
Another source close to Syndergaard sees it as a possible scenario that if the Mets offer the QO, he will accept it.
Although Conforto appears destined to reject the QO and test the waters in free agency, Syndergaard has missed almost two full-seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March of 2020.
He has also made it clear that he does not want to leave New York or the Mets and is determined to reach an agreement to stick around this winter.
"I'm fairly confident that we will reach an agreement and I'll be pitching here next year," said Syndergaard on September 28, following his first appearance since 2019. "New York has a special place in my heart."
Syndergaard went onto say he'd be "grateful" if the Mets were to offer him the QO and called it a "tough pill to swallow" if he doesn't wind up back with the Amazins' next season.
Due to the massive amount of time he has missed, Syndergaard is a risk for any team looking to pick him up this offseason. Especially if another club has to forfeit a draft pick to the Mets in order to sign him.
But if Syndergaard can return to form as a top of the rotation starter, retaining him for $18.4 million and getting the most out of his impressive talent could pay dividends for the Mets.
Syndergaard made his major league debut for the Mets back in 2015, and helped them reach the World Series during his rookie campaign. The 29-year-old has spent all seven seasons of his big-league career with the Mets.
Conforto has also spent the entirety of his MLB career with the Mets after they drafted him in the first-round back in 2014. While Conforto endured the worst statistical season of his career in 2021, it sounds like he is ready for a chance of scenery, which means he could move on from the Mets.