Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In the last few days, three stories have emerged: 1) The Mets are underwhelmed with SS Ruben Tejada, 2) the Mets and Mariners will soon talk about SS Nick Franklin, and 3) the Mets still have interest in SS Stephen Drew, who may wait until June to sign a new contract.
This is 100 percent speculation, but to me, this reads like a team trying to smoke Drew out of his hole, essentially saying, “Hey, we still have an opening at shortstop, but, who knows? Maybe we trade for someone first!”
I’d rather Drew for two years and $20 million than give up any sort of pitching prospect for Franklin, especially if we’re talking Jake deGrom, Rafael Montero or Vic Black.
Franklin hit just .225 in 96 games last year. Sure, he had 12 home runs and 45 RBI, but I’d be willing to bet Wilmer Flores could come close to that level production, assuming he doesn’t trip over himself in the field…
The team is saying Flores looks slimmer and quicker, and I agree. I have no idea if he’s capable of playing shortstop in the big leagues, but he certainly seems more in shape and mentally prepared for it today than a year ago. Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve overheard coaches comparing him and Tejada more this winter than last, which would suggest he’s being considered more than management is saying in public.
My hunch is that no trade will be made, Drew will sign somewhere else and Tejada will start the year at shortstop. However, if Flores does well with Triple-A Las Vegas, he may find himself promoted early in the year.