Mets Rumors: Non-tender candidate Wilmer Flores “likely” to stay
By Tim Boyle
With a poor health diagnosis late in the 2018 season, it looked like arbitration eligible Wilmer Flores might be non-tendered this winter. However, recent New York Mets rumors say he’s “likely” to stay for another year.
One of the less exciting New York Mets rumors you may read about this winter does at least suggest the franchise will keep one of the more beloved players around for another year. According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, non-tender candidate Wilmer Flores is “likely” to stick around for another year.
Flores is one of two players on the Mets roster who look like suitable non-tender candidates. The other, Travis d’Arnaud, missed almost all of 2018 due to Tommy John Surgery. While Flores stayed relatively healthy, failing health late in the year looked like it may have ended his Mets career.
With one year of control left, it would make sense for the Mets to non-tender Flores. He’ll take home roughly $4-$5 million next year, which may be a bit high for a bench player whose health is questionable.
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Flores had about as average of a year as we could have hoped for in 2018. He slashed .267/.319/.417 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI over 429 plate appearances. Only his power was noticeably down.
However, as the primary first baseman they employed, can we really whine about the year he had? He saved us from seeing an even worse performance from the first basemen for much of the year.
A player by any other name would be far more likely to receive walking papers this winter. Flores is a fan-favorite thanks to his Mets’ loyalty, clutch-hitting, and overall fun personality. As a public relations decision, keeping him makes the most sense.
In a week where many of the Mets rumors involve subtracting important pieces like Noah Syndergaard, this is one of the good ones suggesting they keep a guy we thought might leave. Flores may not be the best player they have. Nevertheless, he can be an important one.
If the Mets do keep Flores, they will, without a doubt, find a way to play him often. Flores has made at least 274 trips to the plate in each year since 2014, only ever topping 430 once. He’s an important depth piece they can make good use of.
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The Mets have plenty of time to decide whether or not to keep Flores. As the non-tender deadline closes in, I expect a clearer picture of his future and more Mets rumors to confirm his destiny.