Mets avoid arbitration with Wilmer Flores, settle on $3.4 million

By JT. Teran
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Wilmer Flores
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Wilmer Flores /

Wilmer Flores had a great year end in one of the strangest ways possible, but thankfully he’ll be looking to keep on smashing the ball in 2018.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Mets have agreed to a one-year deal with Wilmer Flores valued at $3.4 million for the 2018 season. Flores gets a nice little raise from the $2.2 million that was awarded to him before the 2017 season.

The two parties will avoid arbitration this offseason after going through it last year when they couldn’t come to an agreement. That case was the Mets’ first since 2008 when they dealt lefty Oliver Perez.

Flores will look to continue a solid performance from last season into the new calendar year. Offensively, Flores continued to dominate left-handed pitching, but actually got better overall.  His line of .271/.307/.488 wasn’t too shabby at all, specially for a guy that had to come in and play different positions at different times.

Wilmer’s power also showed with 18 home runs. That put him in the top 5 (4th highest) among the Mets last season. His OPS for the year was .795 which was also an uptick from previous years.

It’s hard to remember sometimes that Flores is still just 26 years old. He’s grown within this organization for what seems like an eternity, and maybe, just maybe, he’s finding his swing at the right time.

Where he could end up playing, however, is a whole other question. Although Flores can play every position in the infield, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to put him anywhere on the left side of it. He didn’t look great at third base, twice having his first reaction be to the opposite of where the ball was going. I still don’t understand how that happened, but it didn’t help make the argument for playing him there. The Mets are obviously still looking for a second baseman, so hopefully Wilmer doesn’t end up having to play there either.

Next: Mets, Matt Harvey avoid arbitration, settle for $5.6 million

The ideal situation, I think, would be to platoon him with Dominic Smith this season. Smith is a lefty that should have more success against righties, while Wilmer is known to have the opposite success. I think it could work and be a nice solution in the meantime.