Mets' Michael Conforto discusses impending free agency: 'I’ve never looked at it as playing for a contract'

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Conforto runs bases in Philly
Conforto runs bases in Philly

The Mets officially activated outfielder Michael Conforto from the Injured List prior to Wednesday’s matchup with the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

The outfielder met with members of the media prior to the game, discussing his impending free agency, among other topics.

Conforto, set to be a free agent this winter, has missed the Mets last 35 games due to his hamstring injury, which set him back for a significant amount of time.

But the possible impact of time missed on his future deal was never at the forefront of the 28-year-old’s mind as he made his way back.

“I’ve never looked at it as playing for a contract,” Conforto said. “I just kind of felt like it was another year, another opportunity to make a deep playoff push and win a World Series. I won’t lie that I don’t think about those things, but it kind of goes with what I was saying about the rehab: the only productive way to go is forward. To linger on the injury doesn’t help me.

"I’m just going to keep moving forward, stick to the mentality of helping the team win, and at the end of the year we’ll see where we’re at. I’ll be happy if we’re playing in October, making a deep push, and hopefully winning a World Series.

In 33 games this season, Conforto has slashed .230/.356/.336, all below his career averages. And what’s most frustrating for Conforto is that just as he was starting to heat up, he ended up on the IL.

“I wasn’t too happy with it, if I’m being completely honest,” Conforto said of his play this season. “I think I was starting to get going a little bit right before I got hurt, and it was frustrating. But like I said, even when I talked to you guys a few weeks ago, the only way to go is forward. I put my focus on getting better, getting stronger, and trying to crush the rehab, and now I get a fresh start from here on out.

“I’m just going to try to stay healthy, try to be available and keep on that incline that I felt like I was one before I got hurt.”

Conforto will be hitting third in the lineup and playing right field on Wednesday, as the Mets look to end their recent hitting woes as a team.