A popular topic of conversation amongst Mariners fans is who can replace Andrew Romine as the utility man on the roster. Today, we look at perhaps the best option on the market, NY Mets Utility man Wilmer Flores.
Flores is a 26-year-old, right-handed hitting utility infielder. Since making his MLB debut in 2013, Flores has been a favorite of Mets fans everywhere.
A career .261/.301/.430 hitter, Flores would most certainly present an offense upgrade to the bench of the Mariners. Over his past 3 seasons, Flores is slashing .268/.315/.475 as a part-time player.
Flores certainly offers some power off the bench, with the ability to keep a team afloat if somebody were to go down with an injury. His approach at the plate screams “2018 Seattle Mariners”. He rarely strikes out, a career 13.4% K rate, and also rarely walks, posting a career 5.2% BB rate. In 2018, he is walking more (8.2%) and striking out less (10.3%). Both are good signs.
Defensively, Flores has over 500 innings of playing time at all 4 infield spots. He grades out as average at both first and second base. On the left side of the infield, he is slightly below-average. Flores has no experience in the outfield. However, the Mariners will have 4 OF on the roster, as well as catcher Chris Herrmann, who has experience in the OF as well.
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Flores is primarily acting as a first baseman for the Mets in 2018, which could be useful in finally giving Ryon Healy meaningful rest down the stretch. Flores has always graded out as poor base-runner, so he doesn’t provide much value there.
Of course, the big question is what the cost to acquire Flores would be? Flores is still under club control for the rest of 2018 and 2019, so he is not a rental. Flores also has stated many times that he does not want to leave the Mets.
At 26-year-olds, the Mets could opt to keep Flores through their rebuild. However, it seems like now is the best time to optimize the return for him. Flores would likely have many suitors. That, combined with the club control and abilities of Flores, makes the price a little bit pricier than other utility options. Our proposal:
The Seattle Mariners trade Bryson Brigman and Nick Wells to the Mets for Wilmer Flores.
Losing Brigman would be tough. He is enjoying a breakout season in High A Modesto. He profiles as a solid utility man at the majors. If he continues to make strides at the plate, he could be a glove-first regular up the middle in 2 years.
However, Flores gives the Mariners one of the better utility men available for a season and a half and one who has enough power and contact skills to get even better. Flores is a good player. To get a good player, you have to give up something of value. Wilmer Flores makes the Mariners better in 2018 and 2019. At this stage, that’s all that really counts.