Ruben Tejada likely to be starting shortstop, but Wilmer Flores will be waiting in the wings

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The following is my educated guess about shortstop in Citi Field, after having read recent reports, while talking with people around the game and connected to the team…

Ruben Tejada is likely to be the team’s starting shortstop, unless a trade can be worked out with the Mariners for 2B-SS Nick Franklin.

The D-Backs were scouting the Mets on Tuesday (ESPN, Mar. 18) and are reportedly open to trading one of their shortstops, specifically Didi Gregorious (ESPN, March 18). They have a major need for starting pitching right now, but it isn’t sounding, to me, like a fit with the Mets makes sense for either team at this point in time. Arizona likes Mets C prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, and they’ve long been intrigued by Sandy Alderson’s top pitching prospects, but they’re not alone.

Ruben Tejada

There is strong demand for several Mets prospects, and that may only increase as these players get more work in Double- and Triple-A this summer. Basically, it’s getting to be time to package a catcher, pitcher and another prospect or two for a legitimate, star-quality hitter – Alderson knows it and the league knows it – and it might not make sense to waste one or two those bullets on another team’s out-of-favor shortstop prospect… especially one that may be able to be had for, say, a Dillon Gee, in June or July. But, that’s another story for another day…

Trading for Franklin seemed probable a few weeks ago, but is looking less and less likely as his price goes up (probably due to the Orioles and Rays also showing interest), while interest from the Mets goes down. Why less interest? This spring training, Wilmer Flores has given the organization reason to believe he can deliver a similar offensive production as Franklin, while playing roughly the same defense. Franklin will cost a pitching prospect. Flores is already here.

So, Flores will most likely start the year in Triple-A, where he’s going to see a lot of playing time at shortstop (ESPN, Mar. 18). Why? Well, I assume if Tejada continues to stumble or look flat, Flores will get promoted and take the job in Queens.




345 comments
Tom Szymanski
Tom Szymanski

It's pathetic this is the best we got to run out there on Opening Day. What does he have 6 Errors already in Spring Training games - not all of which he started -   How many dinky pop ups with men on base?? Come on Sandy - wake up!!

Rhandy Maag
Rhandy Maag

He's garbage. his highest potential was being a backup middle infielder to reyes and murphy. but we all know what the front office did to that idea. absolutely pathetic. 

steve333
steve333

This organization is pathetic

aaar2d2
aaar2d2

This teams ownership and front office is disgusting. I can't comprehend anyone putting a penny into this team, because you are an enabler. Tejada? Ike? Duda? New York team?  More worried about media relations then fielding even a .500 team .Disgusting.

Shawn R. Babcock
Shawn R. Babcock

If the latest Didi smoke is something, I could be comfortable moving Pawlecki and a mid-range prospect for him. I wouldn't give up a top pitching prospect, or two top guys. ARZ would have to be reasonable.

Evander Smart
Evander Smart

Sounds like Noah and Flores may get June call-ups, and the pressure will be on for fast starts from players on the fringe.

I like that!

Michael Suna
Michael Suna

I am a huge fan of David Wright however this team should probably have traded him a few years ago to get position players. This team is no position to win a World Series for the next few years. We would have had positional talent to do it if we had swapped him out a few years ago. There wasn't else and now we don't have much inthe positional player talent pool coming up. This team doesn't have enough firepower to win and to match the pitching coming up.

mike23
mike23

Just put Flores at SS on opening day and lets call it a day, no use in trading prospects for another teams reject when we might have something in Flores. No reason he shouldn't be the starter on opening day over Tejada.

Olerud42
Olerud42

Each season the Mets have a choice they can make.


1. Go "all in" and try to win now

2. Try to improve the club even more for the long run


The Mets' strategy is #2. It's unfair to say they don't care about winning. They just don't care about winning NOW if it means MORE winning in the future. 


Some will argue that the Mets actual strategy is


3. Not caring about winning now or later and saving as much money on payroll as possible.


But, while I'm cynical, I'm not that cynical. 

trevordunn
trevordunn

no 1b, no SS, Dice K in the rotation. this team is horrible. them and the phillies are the bottom feeders of the NL East

adam
adam

I'm usually very negative on this team,  because let's be honest, they stink. BUT, Opening Day is less than 2 weeks away and I can't wait to be at Citi Field! We love the Mets because it's in our blood. Sure, ownership is a disgrace, our GM has blew numerous deals this offseason, has failed to give us the best chance to win within our budget, which is his job, we're ruining the prime of one of our franchises best players, we put more stock in our Minor leagues than our Major Leagues, we arguably have the worst starting first baseman, ss, and in my opinion catcher, in the league, our ticket prices are absurd(it's like a Springsteen cover band charging Springsteen prices), our centerpiece of our stadium didn't even play on our team........BUT, I can't wait to crack that first beer of the season in  the parking lot on Opening Day!!!!! 

hankypanky
hankypanky

Has it occurred to the brain-dead among us the official line on Tejada is also a PR stunt for the benefit of opposing teams? Telling the rest of the baseball world that the Mets are desperate for a ss is like shooting yourself in the foot. Sandy is playing the field for what it is worth, including the myth that Flores is a ss. So much of what we see in ST is actually show-casing our brand. You don't tip your hand to the opposition and you certainly don't listen to the whiners on this blog.

archer41
archer41

This is not a well constructed team.  Again.


Phil Mancini
Phil Mancini

Flores hasn't played SS since he was 19, the Mets realizing back then he wasn't a future MLB SS. So this is the backup plan? End the agony Fred, sell the team!

mets2891
mets2891

Whatever happened to "we're not handing out scholarships anymore"?  Way to set the tone for the young players.  Hey, you can treat being a major leaguer like an after school job, but we're too cheap we won't be able to replace you.

domtoretto
domtoretto

I've said this a thousand times before, but I'll say it again. Why the heck did you not just offer Reyes a damn contract Sandy?

Tom Szymanski
Tom Szymanski

@Shawn R. Babcock     Not me  - Plawecki has got game - I just wouldn't serve up one of our nuggets for a SS whom the jury is still out on. I would do it for Nick Franklin - but not DiDi

Tom Szymanski
Tom Szymanski

@Michael Suna  I respectufully disagree with you - Wright is the face of our organization --  This is one star who wants to be a Met -  By David signing that big,long contract sends a message out to other stars to sign here when they become free agents - Such as Granderson  - I do believe there is more to come. All the mets have to do is start winning - be relevant around the trading deadline and I have to believe then Sandy will deliver us some big time help where its needed

Olerud42
Olerud42

@mike23  But there are reasons. Flores can't play defense it seems, which means he's worth more than an AL team than he is to us. Which is a good trade scenario to be in. 

vimets
vimets

@trevordunn And the Phillies have a payroll over 176 mil

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

@trevordunn I guess you think the Marlins are going to make a huge leap this season off 100 losses last year.

vimets
vimets

@adam What deals did SA blow?

Olerud42
Olerud42

@hankypanky  True, but if the Mets are really looking to upgrade shortstop to start the season, they are kind of running out of time. It might be time to be desperate. 


But I don't think they are looking that hard to upgrade at this point. I think they are comfortable starting the season with Tejada.

vimets
vimets

@hankypanky Exactly!

Olerud42
Olerud42

@Phil Mancini  I'm not thrilled with it either. Honestly, I tend to think that the best possible move for Flores would be a prospect swap with a team who could use a good young DH and backup infielder, perhaps for a lesser hitter but one who can play his position well. 

Joe Decesare
Joe Decesare

@domtoretto he even insulted him by saying 'what does he want me to do send him flowers'. idiot!

mets2891
mets2891

@domtoretto Agreed, haven't been back to Citi since.

1harris1
1harris1

Because the owners were broke and didn't have the money to offer.

vimets
vimets

@domtoretto Bernie Madoff wouldn't let them.

vimets
vimets

@Olerud42 Why do you say an AL team?

mike23
mike23

@Olerud42 @mike23  I disagree, I thought besides a foot issue on an attempted double play throw he looked pretty smooth out there. Made a nice play deep in the whole on one play and threw the ball to first on the fly to get the runner. I think with time he would improve his footwork by playing there more and adjust accordingly. 


Flores should be the opening day short stop unless a quality trade is made or stephen drew is signed. Tejada has done nothing to justify being the starter and we must find out if Flores can be a legit starting SS, no reason he shouldn't be given the chance. Mets need his offense anyway, they can't carry a low .200 hitting short stop with their current roster. 

John Schod
John Schod

Maybe 100 losses won't be last place?

adam
adam

@vimets  Blow might be wrong word. But signing Chris Young b4 anybody made him an offer was wrong. Nelson Cruz is 10x better.  Not having a major league caliber first baseman and shortstop is his fault. His job is to put us in the best position to win, within our budget. He didn't do that. He also didn't draft Harvey so don't use his name. I love Noah, but it looks like D'Arnaud stinks. 

Olerud42
Olerud42

@qualcomm @vimets  But he's not a middle infielder. So your argument seems to be that he's pretty much worthless.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@vimets He means the DH, as if he's that sort of bat.  He's a great bat for a middle infielder, not for a DH. 

Olerud42
Olerud42

@vimets  Not to mention I think it's a little fast to compare Flores's offensive skills to a hall of famer's... Piazza created a LOT of value with his bat. More than most baseball players to ever play the game. 

vimets
vimets

@Bryan McEntee Piazza's only flaw was his throws to second base, but other then that he actually was a very good defensive catcher.

crafalko17
crafalko17

@Bryan McEntee @Olerud42@mike23Piazza was a very good defensive catcher, he just couldn't throw. But as far as receiving pitches, calling the game, and blocking balls he was better than average.

Joe Decesare
Joe Decesare

@vimets we are talking about alderson and the mets. how you could watch jose fernandez pitch and not sign him is unbelievable.also signing chris young for 8 mil after a horrible year is insane.

Olerud42
Olerud42

@vimets  While true, kind of beside the point. We don't care what other GMs do, we care what our GM does. Sandy gets credit where it's due, but this was a miss. 

vimets
vimets

@Joe Decesare 12 other teams didn't draft Fernandez either.

vimets
vimets

@adam Why did Cruz turn down 14.1 mil from the Rangers and eventually have to settle on 8 mil with the Orioles which was the only team that gave him an offer?

adam
adam

@boodge106 @adam @vimets  it wouldn't surprise you if Chris Young had a better year then Nelson Cruz?????? It would surprise Chris Young if he had a better year then Nelson Cruz. Chris Young hasn't hit higher then .257 in 6 years. The last 2 years, as per Baseballreference.com, he's statistically, one of the worst players in the world. Fielding smielding, if we can't score more then 3 runs a game, with our rotation, subpar, at best, bullpen, were not going to win. And there's been plenty of catchers drafted early who stink. I don't care how well D'Arnaud calls a game, we need him to hit and I don't see it. He hasn't even given us a glimpse of hope, that's what worries me.  

boodge106
boodge106

@adam @vimets  Jumping the gun a bit on Darnaud there?  Catchers don't get drafted in the first round if they stink.  Let's give him more than 100 MLB at bats before we decide his future, how does that sound?  He's already proved his worth behind the dish, now he just needs to do it at the dish.

As far as Chris Young, I think it was clear with how they are building around pitching and the large outfield they have at Citi that OF defense was a priority.  Cruz and Young don't even compare defensively.  It would be virtually impossible for Cruz to have a better defensive season than Young, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Young be more productive than Cruz at the plate this year.  That part could obviously go either way though.