Tuesday’s column on Wilmer Flores drew a strong reaction so I thought I would ask my friends in the blogosphere about his trade value. I asked them to respond to the following questions:
Flores is 21 and playing at Triple-A, one of the four youngest full-time position players in the PCL. He also was not ranked in any major preseason Top 100 list and has gotten off to a so-so start despite his hitter-friendly home park. What’s his trade value? What 1-for-1 deal where the Mets would trade Flores and get back an MLB player would both teams say “yes” to?
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Ed Marcus – In the lead to replace Jeff Hanneman
Honestly I wouldn’t trade Flores at this juncture. In 43 games he is proving to be a good top of the order player (.265 avg, 4 homers & 28 rbi’s with average obp & slugging %. Problem is his range at shortstop is limited & may be too slow for the outfield. If I could do a one for one trade I have the sinking suspicion all I could get at this junction would be a decent middle reliever or fourth outfielder.
Eric Stashin – Turned down offer to replace Matthew Berry
Giving a trade value for Flores is difficult as he has the feeling of being a notoriously “overhyped” New York prospect. We’ve long heard about his upside, yet we have never fully seen it. He also appears to be a player without a position, giving him the feel of Daniel Murphy v2.0, just without the Major League pedigree.
Unfortunately I don’t think we can reasonably expect the Mets to get more than a mid-level reliever, or a better player whose contract is about to expire, if we are looking at a 1-for-1 deal. How much value is there really for a player without a position who is hitting .267 with 4 HR in the PCL?
The better situation would probably be pairing him with one of their young pitching prospects to yield a better return. Otherwise the likely return would probably make it much more valuable to the Mets to stay patient and see if he realizes his potential.
Michael Geus – Dreams of being the lead in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place
I don’t see any 1-1 deal that is worth it. As you mention, Flores is not a top major league prospect right now. If we traded him for a current major leaguer we would get back roster filler, unless it is a salary dump. If it’s a salary dump we probably wouldn’t have to even include Flores. Wilmer is still only 21 and his best path to being a productive major league player is at the position he is finally at. I say finally as I have wanted him at second for at least three years now, short was always a pipedream and David Wright always existed.
If there is a match with another team for on outfield version of Flores and they need an infielder maybe that could work one-for-one. I am not enough of an expert on the minor league scene to know what teams would have excess non-top 100 outfield prospects.
I do think Wilmer could get dealt but not one-for-one. At this stage he seems like a guy who could help sweeten a three-or-four-for-one deal if we ever decide to do anything major. There is no rush do do anything with him either, he is still younger than Kevin Plawecki, who is in Low A, and who gets mentioned as a prospect.
Jon Springer – Laughs at the numbers lead in Numb3rs
I have to answer this question hypothetically, since I think the last thing the Mets can afford to do at the moment is trade a young position player with upside, even if he’s not off to a good start. And getting the Mets and a counterpart to say “yes” at this time of year seems like a longshot. That said, I think Flores given his limited ability to help a team immediately is probably worth a back-of-the-rotation starter or maybe a corner outfielder who could represent a small upgrade over Byrd. But, I don’t much want the Mets to make that trade. What the Mets ought to be doing is figuring out which of the young arms they’re developing they can best afford to trade, in an attempt to collect more Flores-ness in the high minors, and you know, give that kid a first baseman’s mitt.
John Coppinger – Wishes police would stop coming to him to get leads
See, if I was doing this through a video game, I could probably get Mike Trout for Flores under the right circumstances. But if we’re talking about real life … man, I’m horrible at these. If I was any good at these I’d be a GM. But how about Andre Ethier? I’m sure the Dodgers will want to get out of some of their salary, and with Ethier seemingly falling out of favor with the Dodgers that would seem to be the perfect salary to erase for them. Mets get an outfielder, Dodgers get somebody for third base if they want to move Hanley Ramirez back to shortstop … or second base if they don’t. I still want Trout though.
It seems like nobody has an outrageous opinion of Flores’ trade value at this point. The best course of action is to let him continue to get at-bats, hope he takes a step forward and that he is not one of the rare players who peaked at age 16.
Thanks to Ed, Eric, Michael, Jon and John for participating!