With Dominic Smith and Peter Alonso being first base candidates for 2019, the New York Mets should deal Wilmer Flores at the trade deadline.
Back in 2015, the New York Mets were on the verge of trading away Wilmer Flores, but the deal ended up falling through. Three years later, the Mets are in a different position to trade Flores as a seller instead of as a buyer and New York should take advantage of the way Flores is playing right now.
Over his last 18 games, Flores has a slash line of .295/.328/.574 with four home runs and 14 RBIs. He is tied with Asdrubal Cabrera for the most RBIs on the Mets over the last 30 days.
New York is going to have to make some tough decisions and Flores has done a good job playing first base while Jay Bruce has been on the disabled list. However, Flores is only under team control for one more year and the front office could get good value from a contender at the deadline looking for a utility player that can play first base, third base, and the outfield.
In addition to being a utility player, Flores can bring instant offense off the bench in the postseason for a contender. In the seventh inning or later of games this year, he is hitting .306 with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Out of his 19 hits, nine of them have been for extra bases (six doubles). He may be struggling against left-handers this year (.211), but he has a good track record of hitting lefties and he’s batting .301 against right-handers.
Now, Flores has been a fan favorite for the Mets and the 26-year-old recently told Mike Puma of the New York Post “I don’t want to go anywhere.” Whether it has been the crying during the game everyone thought he was going to be traded in 2015 or all the walk-off home runs, he is loved by the fans.
Despite all the fanfare, the Mets need to think about their future and try to find out who is truly the first baseman of the future in Flushing. Flores is a good player, but he is not an everyday player. Meanwhile, Dominic Smith has been a bench player for the most part and Peter Alonso is in Triple-A Las Vegas.
While the Mets won’t get a top prospect for Flores, they can open up first base and allow it to be more of a competition for who has the inside track to start at that position heading into 2019.
For Smith, it would be one of his last chances to make an impression on the coaching staff after being late to a spring training game this year and struggling to find a rhythm at the end of last season. As for Alonso, if he’s promoted, he has the chance to show off the power that got him reportedly into next Sunday’s Futures Game in Washington D.C.
Flores has a special place in the heart of a lot of Mets fans. With that being said, his contract and his position versatility will likely mean a contender wants him to help their postseason run. If the Mets can get a fair offer for him, they have to trade him and allow the future to compete for the first base spot going forward if Bruce is still out.