Could Wilmer Flores solve the Marlins’ need for a 3B?

It was a surprise to find out that the Mets were looking for starting pitching in return for Ike Davis. But as long as we know that adding more pitching is a desired goal of the organization, it seems fair to speculate about trades where the Mets bring in a pitcher. That thought brings us to the Marlins.

On Tuesday, Joe Frisaro, the Marlins writer for, wrote a piece saying the Marlins were looking for a third baseman. He went on to list some possibilities some of which, like Danny Valencia, are no longer on the market. Frisaro went on to state that the Marlins had pitching prospects to deal and offered up some names, too.

Not mentioned as a potential trade partner was the Mets. Yet that seems curious, as the Mets actively shopped Daniel Murphy during the Winter Meetings and the best position for Wilmer Flores is probably third base, too.

Frisaro said, “In theory, the Marlins have the pitching to get a deal done. In reality, finding a fit isn’t quite so easy. To part with a young arm, Miami is looking for players with controllable years before they reach free agency. The player also will have to be versatile to switch to another position once (2013 top draft pick Colin) Moran is ready.”

Wilmer  FloresSounds like Flores to me.

The top pitching prospect for the Marlins is Andrew Heaney, the ninth overall pick of the 2012 Draft. Heaney pitched in both Hi-A and Double-A last year, going a combined 9-3 with a 1.60 ERA in 95.1 IP. In six starts in Double-A, Heaney was 4-1 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.188 WHIP.

FanGraphs’ Marc Hulet had this scouting report on the young southpaw:

“Heaney combines polish, above-average control/command and solid stuff. He throws three pitches — 89-93 mph fastball, slider, changeup — for strikes and his breaking ball serves as his out-pitch.”

So, is Flores enough to land Heaney? My opinion is no, but I’m more bearish on Flores than most. The drop from Heaney to the Marlins’ next pitching prospect seems substantial, so a Flores for Justin Nicolino swap does not seem like a good deal for the Mets.

But since we know the Marlins are looking for a third baseman, perhaps there’s room between the clubs to complete a deal. If Heaney is off limits, perhaps outfielder Jake Marisnick could be included in a deal. Hopefully Sandy Alderson is exploring trade possibilities with Miami President of baseball operations Michael Hill,

11 comments for “Could Wilmer Flores solve the Marlins’ need for a 3B?

  1. Joe Vasile
    December 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    As someone who is more bullish on Flores than you, I don’t think he’ll be enough to land Andrew Heaney. Marlins are an interesting destination for Flores, though…I think you might be on to something.

    • December 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Didn’t the fish just sign Casey McGehee from Japan for third base??.

      • December 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

        You are correct.

        McGehee put up a (-0.1) fWAR in 2011 and repeated that same below-replacement level number in 2012. Over those two seasons he put up a .632 OPS in 952 PA. No one wanted him last year and he went to Japan.

        Unless he hooked up with some Japanese steroids, it’s hard to imagine him being an MLB starter.

  2. blastingzone
    December 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Nothing like having to face Flores 19x a year!! I was thinking if the mets trade Murphy that
    they might give Flores a shot at 2nd instead of EY or platoon Flores with Duda instead of Satin who has no power and is not much of a rbi guy if they traded Ike? IF they trade Flores
    lets hope its to the AL because he’s going to be one hell of a hitting machine!!

  3. Julian McCarthy
    December 19, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Initial response: Can he not?!?

    After reading the full article, I realize that this was a piece designed to say that Alderson should explore his options. But in reality, Flores needs to be given more credit because he was playing with a pretty bad ankle for most of his time on the field. The Mets should find a place for him.

  4. Jim OMalley
    December 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    After Heaney, the next best Marlins prospect would be LHP Justin Nicolino. He was drafted out of High School in 2010.

  5. Rev.Al
    December 19, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    But don’t we need a S/S ?OR are we building a prospect package for Tulowitski :-)

    • Joe Vasile
      December 19, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Hard to imagine Tulo going anywhere at this point.

  6. Metsense
    December 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

    The Mets have a surplus at secondbase and quality minor league pitching. Their goal should be to trade their surplus for a need, namely a SS. This directly does not do this unless it a first step to a second trade.
    Flores could solve the Marlins thirdbase problem and so could Murphy but without a third team involved it won’t solve the Mets shortstop problem.
    Murphy is the player that would have more value. He is the player that has only two years of controllability left. Flores minor league career indicates he is more advanced than Murphy was at the same age and therefore should have a higher ceiling. Flores is also under team control for six years and is less expensive. Trading Murphy is an evolution of a solid franchise.

    • December 20, 2013 at 8:35 am

      The quoted article in this piece said the Marlins were looking for players with controllable years, which means Flores would have more value since he has many more years of team control left than Murphy.

      Flores is so unique among Mets prospects that I don’t think you can easily compare him to someone else. He was playing in this country at age 16. I don’t think anyone else for the Mets has done that since. Rosario played in the APPY last year at 17, which is probably the closest. Another thing that makes him hard to compare is that he was playing Triple-A in a hitter’s park in a hitter’s league. Flores’ .887 OPS seems very impressive on the surface, until you consider that the entire team – including pitchers – posted an .822 OPS. That’s a mark 8% better than average. If Flores had put up an 8% better than average OPS for the Mets in Triple-A in 2012 when they were in Buffalo, he would have a .784 mark.

      If we go back to Double-A, Murphy and Flores played in the same league for the same team. Murphy had a 15-point OPS advantage but also was three years older.

      Murphy made giant leaps as he moved up the organizational ladder, which is pretty rare, too. He went from a .612 OPS in short-season leagues to a .768 OPS in Hi-A to an .872 OPS over three levels (mostly Double-A) and a promotion to the majors.

      Meanwhile, Flores didn’t surpass his rookie league OPS until four years later when he had the BABIP hot streak at Double-A.

      Because of the unique circumstances surrounding the two players, I don’t think you can accurately say which one is going to be the more productive major league hitter. I admit that I think Flores is overrated and that the possibility certainly exists that he’ll be an impact hitter in the majors. I have no problem with those who feel that this is his likely path. What I object to is the people who think he is destined for stardom. It’s a potential outcome, not something written in stone.

      My best guess is that if Flores got 600 PA in the majors in 2014 while playing second base that he would definitely post a fWAR under 2.0 and probably be closer to a 1.0 mark.

  7. Metstheory22
    December 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I think Flores is going to be a corner infielder when all is said and done. We need outfielders and we are set at 3rd for now. I think Flores is going to be an RBI guy. Might not have the power like others but will drive in runs. If we can get a good outfield prospect for him, I would trade him.

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