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USATSI

Free-agent outfielder Michael Conforto underwent shoulder surgery last week and is not expected to return to play until next spring, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post

Conforto's agent, Scott Boras, issued the following statement to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic: "Last week Michael Conforto underwent successful shoulder surgery by Dr. Neil ElAttrache. He is expected to make a full recovery and return to play in spring training 2023."

Conforto, 29, reportedly suffered an injury to his shoulder after landing "irregularly" during a workout drill earlier this winter. He originally attempted to let his shoulder heal without undergoing an operation. Clearly that path didn't work, and he recently elected to change course.

Conforto, who turned down a qualifying offer worth $18.4 million from the New York Mets to begin last winter, entered the offseason ranked by CBS Sports as the 23rd best free agent available. Here's what we wrote at the time:

There may not be a good time for a player to have an underwhelming season, but there is a bad time. Conforto learned that lesson the hard way by hitting .202/.341/.298 in the first half of his walk year. Though he rebounded to an extent in the second half (.252/.347/.445), his chances of cashing in this winter were already dashed. Conforto, it turns out, may disagree with that assessment. He appeared to be an obvious candidate to accept the qualifying offer, but a report from last month indicated that he intended to decline and seek out something better on the open market. Good luck.

Conforto had a disappointing walk year with the Mets, hitting just .232/.344/.384 (101 OPS+) with 14 home runs in 125 games. For his big-league career, he's batted .255/.356/.468 (124 OPS+) with 132 home runs in 2,980 trips to the plate.