For Wilmer Flores, the New York Mets are the only thing that he has ever known in the United States of America. Well, that and famed 90’s sitcom Friends. The Venezuelan native signed with the team at an age where teens in New Jersey earn their driving permit, 16. He cried on the field when he thought he was going to be traded, and he hit a walk off home run just a few days later to cement his place in Mets lore forever. The Mets will be selling at this year’s trade deadline, and Flores is a name that is circulating around the rumor mills currently.
To trade Flores would be a mistake for this team to make. At the very basis of arguing against this trade, the raw emotion that comes with the idea is simply heart-breaking. I have never seen a player love his home franchise more than Flores loves the Mets. The fact that he loves being on this team is still amazing. The loyalty that he has displayed for the Mets has been simply out of this world. He has played in every position that his manager has asked him to, which is extremely commendable considering that a player in the very same locker room, Asdrubal Cabrera requested a trade last season after being put at a position that he didn’t want to play. Although he later rescinded the request, it still puts a little bit of a stain on his tenure with the organization. With the way that the bullpen has been performing, I wouldn’t be surprised if manager Mickey Callaway put Flores on the mound for some relief work.
In addition to the way that Flores has embedded himself within the Mets organization, there is also of course the value that he brings on the playing field. Flores is arguably the most clutch player in Major League Baseball. A good way to measure this is by looking at walk-off RBIs. Since 2014, Flores has nine walk-off RBIs, which puts him at first across all of baseball. The players directly below him? Josh Donaldson with seven, and Bryce Harper and Albert Pujols tied with six. His ability to hit in the clutch whether he is in the starting lineup or coming off the bench is rare, and should be coveted by the Mets.
I am not saying that the Mets should start Wilmer Flores every day at a certain position. In fact, I think that he brings more value to the team coming off of the bench to pinch hit or to perform in spot starts than he does being an every day starter. Who wouldn’t want a clutch player to be able to come off of the bench in the late innings like Flores can? He is at his best when he is making spot starts for guys around the infield (preferably the first base side) and providing hits at the right moments.
Of course, he is heating up at the right time. At the time this article was authored, Flores extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games, making him that much more appealing in a trade scenario. He would be a great fit for a team looking for help off the bench. They say that baseball is a business, but could they really rip a man from what all that he’s known in terms of professional baseball in America just for a lower chip prospect? Flores says that he still wants to stay, so I say we keep the heart and soul of this franchise where he belongs: in Mets blue and orange.