Mets Should Not Trade Wilmer Flores
Heading into the 2015 season, the Mets handed Wilmer Flores the starting shortstop job. The ensuing two-and-a-half years have been mercurial for both Flores and the Mets organization, and somewhat astonishingly, the Mets probably still do not know what they have in Flores.
For a while, that matter seemed resolved. Flores was a platoon bat you could use to platoon at any position across the infield, especially first base. A funny thing has happened. Flores has learned how to hit right-handed pitching. So far this year, Flores is hitting a robust .301/.359/.553 against right-handed pitching.
Considering Flores has improved his OPS against right-handed pitching in each year since 2015, this may not be a fluke either. Flores may actually be a bat to keep in your everyday lineup right now. However, that leads to the eternal question over where exactly Flores should play.
Well, based upon circling trade rumors, it appears that decision may be up to a new team.
Now, if the Mets are going to trade Flores, they need to first consider what type of prospect would Flores even merit?
While not a perfect comparison, let’s look at Eduardo Nunez. Like Flores, Nunez was seen as a guy who didn’t really have a position on the infield, but ultimately, contending teams were willing to take a chance on him due to his versatility and his offense.
Back in 2017, Nunez was acquired by the San Francisco Giants from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Adalberto Mejia.
As noted by John Sickels of Minor League Ball, Mejia was a C+ prospect who projected to be a fourth starter in the majors. Of note with Mejia, he had already served a PED suspension and didn’t look the same since returning from the suspension.
Since the trade, Mejia has made 22 starts and one relief appearance for the Twins. Overall, he is 4-7 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.620 WHIP.
Assuming the Mets could even acquire a player the level of a Mejia, the question is whether a C+ prospect would be worth foregoing Flores’ prime years. Put another way, are the Mets really willing to risk Flores becoming the next Justin Turner or Daniel Murphy for what may ultimately become a forgettable prospect?
To that end, Flores may actually be the type of player who is more valuable to his own team than to another team.
Flores is a fan favorite, and he is a player who is steadily improving. We have never heard him complain about his playing time or about what position he plays. More than that, from his crying on the field to his recent comments, this is a guy who genuinely enjoys and wants to continue being a New York Met.
All told, it would behoove the Mets to find out if this is another step in Flores’ progression. They can easily give him the second base job for the end of the year into next year to see if he further grows as a player. If he does, it’s very possible Flores will want to sign a deal to be around for the next Mets team to go to the World Series.
And who knows? Maybe this time, instead of making the last out, he’s delivering the series winning hit as both he and all of New York have tears streaming from their eyes.