New York Mets fan-favorite Wilmer Flores is a free agent again this winter and looks like a perfect match for the rival Washington Nationals.
As if things aren’t going well enough for the Washington Nationals, they may land themselves a New York Mets fan-favorite this winter. Call it salt in the wound.
The Arizona Diamondbacks declined their option on Wilmer Flores. Unfortunately, I see him as a viable candidate to join the 2019 World Series Champions for their title defense in 2020.
The Nationals face plenty of tough decisions with their free agents. Their list of men who will join the free agent pool is extensive and includes star third baseman Anthony Rendon, franchise icon Ryan Zimmerman, and postseason hero Howie Kendrick. Star pitcher Stephen Strasburg also has already used his opt-out. Now, the rest of Major League Baseball can try to tempt him to away from the only big-league city he has ever called home.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets Monday Morning GM: The middle is no place you want to be
- NY Mets News: Marcus Stroman sees “potential fit” with the Angels
- NY Mets were too “seek” and not enough “destroy” last winter
- NY Mets: 1 trade target to consider from each 100-loss team
- NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter
Where does Flores fit into all of this? Well, he’s a great backup option at a variety of positions.
The Mets non-tendered Flores last November in a somewhat questionable decision. His health was apparently a big enough concern for Brodie Van Wagenen to move on. While he did play in only 89 games for Arizona this past season, his performance was stellar.
Flores finished 2019 slashing .317/.361/.487 in 285 plate appearances. He hit 9 home runs and managed to leg out 18 doubles. He made most of his starts at second base after a 2018 campaign where he was the main first baseman for the Mets.
Flores is someone who fits in well with the Nationals as a utility man. Considering they could lose three starting infielders (Rendon, Zimmerman, and Brian Dozier) plus two guys capable of platooning (Kendrick, Matt Adams), it only makes sense for Washington to at least consider Mr. Walk-Off. I would assume the Nationals would like to bring back at least a few of those guys to keep the band together, but at least half will likely walk away as they attempt to get younger.
As far as the Mets are concerned, I’m not so sure a reunion is something they’ll even consider. Infield depth isn’t a need for them. Unless Flores can turn back the clock, add some wings to his cleats, and learn to play center field, there’s no real place for him on the 2020 roster.
The Mets have already parted ways with Joe Panik, but this doesn’t leave much room for Flores. They already have Jed Lowrie for this type of role. And while I’m sure Flores misses the fans in New York, he doesn’t have a relationship with management. This is the Van Wagenen Regime. To them, Flores is a thing of the past.
Mets fans were already a little ill watching Asdrubal Cabrera win a World Series with the Nationals. Cabrera publicly stated he didn’t have an interest in returning to the Mets this past year because they didn’t re-sign him over the winter. He apparently made the right decision.
Seeing Flores win a championship won’t be so bad for Mets fans. Even if it comes at the cost of watching a rival celebrate on a parade float, he’s one of the good guys we all respect and hope to see land on his feet and succeed anywhere.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Hopefully, it’s not in the National League East or a subway ride away in The Bronx.