Q and A - Wilmer


Mack asks –

It’s obvious that Astrubel Cabrera will be the first expiring contract to go during the upcoming trade deadline.

There are others that could be traded also, including players that the Mets still have under control.

One of the more intriguing names out there is Wilmer Flores, who still hasn’t earned a full time starting position on this team and could bring a decent chip or two.

Question: Should we let Wilmer keep playing at first base until the season ends or should we let one of the favorite Mets players pack his bags in between tears?

Tom Brennan says –

           With Wilmer, as with any player, to trade or not to trade now depends on the value we'd get back now.  If sufficient, where we can get a piece that should help us equally to, or more than, Wilmer in 2019 or 2020, I think we trade him, since we have McNeil and presumably Rivera coming up here soon.
If we think we can get more in the off season, we can wait.  I do think that Dominic Smith is no longer the future first baseman, and I think six more weeks of AAA would benefit Pete Alonso, so waiting until the off season is fine if we get as much or more for him.

Tony Bats says -

           I think they should trade Wilmer, because the Mets will not be in playoff contention. Also, they can get a decent prospect in return especially since he has become more of a versatile player recently by playing first base. He could play several of the infield positions which would interest a few contending teams.

Jack Flynn says –

           Wilmer Flores is not a superstar and he never will be. He is, at best, a fifth infielder on a successful baseball team, in that he can stand at all four infield positions and hit fairly well while doing so. On the 2018 Mets, he's good enough to start at first against lefties (free Dominic Smith!), and at any other infield position when the current starter is hurt or needs a day off.

He is a "nice little player," to use the baseball term - one who just happens to hold a special place in the unique history of this mostly wretched franchise.
Flores has been in the Mets organization since he was 16 years old, and has played in parts of six seasons with the big club. He is already 44th in games played among position players, and should crack the Top 40 if he is not traded before the end of the season. He recently passed David Wright for most walk-off hits in team history, a fun fact that means very little when evaluating baseball talent, but means a lot to people who've enjoyed the excitement of end-of-game victories thanks to Flores's heroics.

There is a certain type of value to having players like Wilmer Flores on your team. Fans appreciate the continuity of having certain players to root for year after year, and they especially appreciate the idea of rooting for players who come up through the farm system and then spend their career with their favorite team. Flores has a chance to be one of those players.

It's also worth noting that, as the Mets world salivates over the imminent arrival of Jeff McNeil, Flores is less than a year older than McNeil despite having played 530 more major league baseball games. He is a better baseball player than McNeil *right now,* and you'd be hard pressed to find a prognosticator who thinks McNeil's professional baseball career will be appreciably better than what Flores has already accomplished.

Sure, everyone remembers him crying on the field in 2015, after hearing through the grapevine that he was about to be traded. Imagine that for a moment - a professional athlete wanting to remain a Met so badly that he publicly loses his composure in the middle of a competition at the thought of losing the opportunity.

If you're reading this now, it is extremely likely that the Mets have made you cry at least once your life. Wilmer Flores is one of our own. Jettisoning him for a random A ball arm - or so the Wilpons can save $3 million on a fifth outfielder - certainly isn't worth it to me.

Mike Fiere says –

           I have been one of the more vocal "Wilmer critics" over the past few months, even going so far as to write an entire article on his career to date and how he is the ultimate "square peg in a round hole" type of player.  I still feel that way if we are going to discuss Wilmer as the future at Second Base, Short Stop or Third Base because he simply cannot play defense at those positions to the level required at the major league level.  As a part time or "utility" type player, he is adequate but not day in and day out, in my humble opinion.

However, Reese recently wrote an article that suggested Wilmer could be the short term future at First Base since Dominic Smith has not panned out and Pete Alonso isn't quite ready, yet.  After reading the article (and reviewing the lack of options on the current roster and in free agency), I think I have been swayed a bit.  Wilmer's best defensive position is probably First Base and he hits well enough to hold his own there.  I think we could do much worse for the rest of the 2018 season and the 2019 season at first base then giving him his first real shot at regular playing time.

With that said, I would NOT trade him this year since he is likely more valuable to the Mets then the player or players he could be traded for.


Tom Brennan said...

Flores has 558 at bats this season and last, 33 doubles, 26 HR, 82 RBI, .268, playing sometimes sporadically. I think we sometimes undervalue what we've got.

Met Monkey said...

Yup, Wilmer is a wonderful player, with a palpable presence at the plate, and energy and love of the game. Cabrera and Flores together should haul us a below average single-A reliever. Count the days.

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