How is Flores doing at SS? Where is Tejada? Where is Drew?

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

This past weekend, I talked with someone in baseball who has been watching Wilmer Flores play shortstop for Triple-A Las Vegas.

“He can make the routine play, his range is better than expected, but he needs to improve his awareness around the infield,” he told me.

For instance, if Flores gets a high chopper and a runner is advancing, the expert explained, he still shows a bit of panic or confusion on the play.

“It’s fine for now, but he’ll need to be quicker than that in the big-leagues, especially at shortstop,” he concluded.

Flores is batting just .176 with no extra base hits and five strike outs in eight games.

There is no way to know this for fact, but my initial thought here is that Flores may be struggling to hit, while working hard and spending time learning shortstop. Or, it’s just a rough start, bad luck, etc. It happens. In either case, though, it’s never wise to bring a kid learning a new position to the big leagues in the middle of a slump, no matter how justified. Team insiders seemed to be indicating all March that Flores would get at least a month in Triple-A to get comfortable, keep learning and show what he’s capable of doing for the Mets.

Meanwhile, Ruben Tejada is batting .194 in 40 big-league plate appearances, while striking 25 percent of his at bats.


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Scott Boras seemed to be stalking the Mets all weekend in Los Angeles. He was literally pacing around the seats behind home plate. Friday, he was seen talking to Sandy Alderson, which must have a been a fun conversation to listen in on. Boras represents free-agent SS Stephen Drew and 1B Kendrys Morales, both of whom are still free agents, despite the season being two weeks old.

Drew can’t be made a Qualifying Offer at the end of this season, because the season started. This is appealing, because a one-year deal can be just a one-and-done deal and he doesn’t have to worry about the QO stigma (and draft pick compensation) that plagued him the last six months. The thing is, I hear he’s still looking for at least an option year, or anything that can keep him from being a free agent again this winter. Also, Drew will still cost your top draft pick. In Alderson’s case, he’d need to give up his third-round pick to sign Drew. This will not be the case June 8, when the draft is over.

My hunch is Boras will continue to contact Alderson, as well as the Tigers and others, who continue to lay low and monitor internal options. Eventually, Drew will sign. I bet Boras gets a team to overpay in May, in advance of the draft and before the summer trade market perks up. Remember, the D-Backs and Mariners still have shortstops to move. Will it be the Mets that sign Drew? I don’t know. But, if Flores stays green, and Tejada stays quiet, I think anything is possible…




85 comments

we should prepare 2015===ss and relief if not bring up backman get rid of alderson.im not coming to citifield without damn bullpen and shortstop.lf platoon both youngs--2015 bring up young kid at first base.we need a producton field.for fannies.

Bryan McEntee
Bryan McEntee

I think your missing an important point. Yes the season started, so Drew's 2014 team can't make a qualifying offer. Therefore, his 2015 team won't have to give up any draft picks if he signs just a one year deal this year and then becomes a Free Agent again and goes elsewhere next season. However, I believe that he would have to still have to wait until after the draft in early June to sign a new deal this year in order for his 2014 team to not to have to surrender draft picks to his 2013 team since the Redsox made him a qualifying offer. If the Mets signed him before June's draft they would give up a 3rd round 2014 pick.

Doubleday
Doubleday

The best SS in the the organization is probably Jake deGrom, and he has been converted to a pitcher.

Jova1931
Jova1931

Stop obsessing over an expensive, mediocre Shortstop.

nthmetsfan
nthmetsfan

Wonder if a stopgap player to help out at SS, like Mike Aviles, would be available?

qualcomm
qualcomm

Remind me why we need Drew?  If Flores has any range, the discussion is over... just let him get out of his slump and get up here.  If he can handle the position, then swap Murphy this offseason and bring in a defensive minded second basemen to solidify the infield or just live with them and swap it out if it's terrible. 

Also, can we please stop the Lucus Duda experiment and let Davis have his 150 at bats in a row? He had a bad half season after a year off, getting Valley Fever and then another injury. Can we PLEASE see what we have? At worst, send him down to start every day in Vegas.

dksc
dksc

Wilmer Flores = Ruben Tejada


sylow59
sylow59

"Drew can’t be made a Qualifying Offer at the end of this season, because the season started. This is appealing, because a one-year deal can be just a one-and-done deal and he doesn’t have to worry about the QO stigma (and draft pick compensation) that plagued him the last six months"

But nothing has changed for the teams that haven't offered him squat.  This just makes it worse for the teams that weren't offering him anything to begin with.

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

Drew is gready to all teams i do not think he is worth 14+ and a 3rd round draft choice to boot we are not going to win this year go for a guy is long term in a trade do not

Eric Slater
Eric Slater

I haven't read through all of the comments here, so I don't know if this has already been stated...

Why is Drew still available to begin with?  Seems like no one wants him?

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

The real question is did Sandy make the trip to Arizona,where there is a real SS available.Dbacks off to a bad start and Didi hitting 371 in AAA.That would be a better move then Drew or Flores.

bigdirty
bigdirty

i dont care if my shortstop cant hit. I need my short stop to be very good defensivley. That is the most important thing. i am not looking to have Flores force feed at ss just so the team cn get a little more offense and completley fall apart on defense. 


Tejada might not be the answer but flores cant be an experiment there and cost us games. A NY franchise should be able to find offensive upgrades at other postions and be able to have a dependable short stop on defense. 


as far as first base. if the Mets had morales in between wright and curtis the offense would be at least capable. Morales is a bonifide majore league hitter. This embarrising 3 headed monster has to stop, Neither duda or ike seem capable and satin is a bad option off the bench. 


This roster is awful and wretched, How could ownership actually allow this team to take the field. The team is fundementally awful. You cannot have sub par defenders at ss, 2b, and 1st base. You cannot continue with a merri go round at 1st base, a position that most major league teams easily supply. i understand that the farm system is full of young arms, but young arms get hurt. You need to save pitches by cleanly fielding balls on defense and turning double plays, 


the record is ok for the first 2 weeks but the team will collapse under teh weight of its defficient foundation shortly. 

Straw18
Straw18

We haven't had an offensive stud come out of the minors since David Wright 10 years ago......that's one of the problems with this organization.....the scouting is terrible....and the signings (Bay, Young, Grandy) are just as bad.....

Robert Smith
Robert Smith

"I'd rather see what we have in Tejada."


How many more seasons do Mets fans have to wait for this coterie of AAAA stiffs (Tejada, Satin, Brown, Davis, Duda) than signing real, actual MLB players? Can we get real - the Mets have at least seven players on this roster who simply can't play, yet they keep trottting them out there, waiting for them to "mature."


They should be "maturing" with the Long Island Ducks.

Alexander Scienski
Alexander Scienski

I oppose even the notion of signing drew. There's a reason no one has signed him, he's not good. Coming from a VERY hitter friendly American League East he posted a .253 average in 124 games. Also he is not an everyday player, against left handed pitching in the last 3 years he's hitting .204. I firmly believe that the last thing the Mets need is another platoon lol. He was a fool for not taking the 14 million dollar offer, he's not even worth half that. There's a glaring need at shortstop, anyone who follows the Mets even occasionally knows that; but spending money just to spend money doesn't really fix anything. 


I'm tired of waiting for the answers just as much as the next fan but I'd still rather see what we have in Tejada and Flores this year than waste the money on Drew. 


Another note about Drew, he's spent most of his career in hitter friendly environments, Arizona mostly and 1 season in Boston. Even with that he's been a mediocre offensive player at best of the past 4 years. There is no scenario in which I can imagine Drew signing with the Mets and him matching his production from last year. Its just not possible.


hashburry
hashburry

I am not advocating the mets sign Drew, but outside of a high first rounder, there has been nothing to suggest that Alderson and company will do anything worthwhile with a third round pick anyway.

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

He's batting 179 in Vegas, he stinks too. Our shortstop is not in this organization.

bring up Abreu===Montero and labrong in bullpen---let duda die by the sword===kid 19yrold ib 2015.we need a 2 hitter lagafes damn it.

re ss sign drew===let davis play when he does some damage trade him damn it.platoon lf both yongsyoungs==rebullpen---bring up young arms 5 2014.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

If his biggest flaw so far is that he shows a little panic on choppers with runners on base I highly doubt that will hurt us as much as Tejeda's offense does.

Chris Molloy
Chris Molloy

Small sample, but I think playing SS is effecting his offense. He will never be an every day MLB SS. A team will at some point over pay for the greedy and lazy Stephen Drew. Teams have budgets, but one thing remains consistent. Players salaries go up a lot, franchise values go up, TV Revenue goes up, Manager and coaches salaries go up, there will be increased advertising,  Oh and for some reason tickets, parking, concessions, etc. etc. goes up. Funny how that works. Drew will take 2 months off and get paid.

Father Dooley
Father Dooley

Dear God: If there is any way...any way...we could get Drew in this lineup without giving up much do-re-mi...

Carlos Rivera
Carlos Rivera

Every other team has a plan, we are still in spring training mode in mid April trying to figure out who plays where.

johnsec125
johnsec125

i can't believe that over 50% of people think they are heading in the right direction.

xplr
xplr

Not sure why anyone thinks Flores is a real answer. HE never was that great a hitter in the minors and doesn't project out as much more than a .240-.250 hitter. Is that preferable to Tejada when you consider that SS is not Flores' natural position? I guess, but barely. 


WHY CAN'T THIS TEAM SPEND SOME BUCKS AND GET SOME REAL PLAYERS?????

dv92
dv92

@Ed Yano  Agreed. I would take Drew over Tejada but I really want Sandy to trade for Didi. He would help this team tremendously.

Alexander Scienski
Alexander Scienski

@Robert Smith  Brown is only here because Chris Young is on the DL.


Tejada is not great, not good, he's ok. If the Mets signed Drew he would probably hit around .235 ~.240.Is paying 8 mil a year more than Tejada's salary worth the .040 extra batting average Drew would bring? Thats not even considering all the doubles and hr's that he hit last year that would be fly ball outs not even to the warning track in the NL east.


Were there any decent 1st base free agents last year?


Satin, decent bench player, occasional start is fine with me.


Cut Davis if he won't go to the minors and let Duda have at least 2 months at 1st. Duda has at least showed some signs of life. Davis has missed his chance IMO.



dukewillie
dukewillie

@Alexander Scienski  Maybe true, but he's still a better all around hitter and fielder than Tejada. That's for sure!

1harris1
1harris1

Relax already, he's been there a week. He had good offensive numbers last season in Triple A. Hitting is not the issue with Wilmer, it's whether he can play SS adequately on the major league level. It's worth a try, given how bad Tejada is, and given this organization's inability or unwillingness to acquire a decent shortstop.

Joseph DeFazio
Joseph DeFazio

@Mike Dell Italia  Agree, but they won't sign Drew anyhow, unless he agrees to a 1 year deal between 6-9m, which i don't think he'll take. So RT is your SS baring a season ending injury. 

hashburry
hashburry

@Zach Goeringer  Don't you know anything?  The Mets give up the most choppers in baseball with runners on!  He needs all the field awareness he can muster to save this team!  Have you ever seen how slick Tejada is on the infield chopper?  I hear from league sources other teams actually scheme to avoid hitting high choppers to Tejada.

hashburry
hashburry

@Victor Triguero  Better than terrible.  That lineup will still set a record for strikeouts and ineptitude.

Zach Goeringer
Zach Goeringer

@Victor Triguero Your lineup is basically our lineup with the exception of Drew hitting 7th. Do you really believe a .260 middle infielder hitting 7th will have improved the team that much? hell, we could have got Flores to bat 7th and hit .260 and we wouldn't have to spend 10 mil to do it.

rico
rico

@Carlos Rivera  I dunno about your statement "Every other team has a plan".  Look at the Yankees, they spent half a billion dollars this off season and their infield is a mess. The have a couple of nice pitchers but they;re looking awfully mediocre, like they may have to drop another half a billion.


I think the Mets need a couple of pro-hitters for sure but you think ALL other teams have better plans I do not agree. And you know what they say


"Best made plans" 

Andrew Garber
Andrew Garber

@Carlos Rivera  SA has been in "wait and see" mode since 2011. Amazing how long a leash a Harvard dog gets. This isn't the world championship Red Sox getting off to a slow start. This is a team that has sucked with the same players for YEARS. Man does he suck.

Andrew Pasquale
Andrew Pasquale

@johnsec125  No question they still need a SS and an answer at 1B. If you acquire TWO guys for those positions, it can bring us into a playoff run. So yes, we are headed in the right direction, just not fast enough. 

hashburry
hashburry

@ifti99  Just asking, how do you know he projects to be a .240 hitter?  Didn't he hit over .300 at AAA last year with 90+ rbis?

buddyryan
buddyryan

Because Fred Wilpon owns the Mets

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

Hittin is not that issue? even tho a small sample size, if you take all his major league and spring trainging abs he's a 200 hitter

Chris Molloy
Chris Molloy

@hashburry @Chris Molloy The last 2 years he made 17 million and hit 249. He plays a good SS not great. He turned down 14 million from the Red Sox and it was evident early on the market was about 2 years 20 million but he wanted to make at least 15 per, that's his choice but if he cared he be playing right now. I don't think playing for the World Champions for 14 million is to bad. Hit 260 in 2014 and he would of gotten offers for 3 years 55 million.

Josh PlaysBass Agudo
Josh PlaysBass Agudo

Eric young is way better than Chris young in my opinion I would like to see mike Aviles as a Met or Javier Baez a young guy who is solid and plays for the cubs.

hashburry
hashburry

@rico @Carlos Rivera  Still a plan.  And for all the bluster here, the Yankees still have a better rotation than the Mets.

Olerud42
Olerud42

@Victor Triguero  If everyone's an overpay then it's actually not an overpay, it's just the going market rate