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The Mets haven’t ruled out Wilmer Flores at shortstop

Jan 30, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

Wilmer Flores AP AP

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has downplayed the possibility of the club signing free agent Stephen Drew, but there could be an unexpected in-house threat to Ruben Tejada for playing time at shortstop. According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Alderson said in a phone interview that he hasn’t ruled out Wilmer Flores as a possibility:

“I wouldn’t say [Flores to shortstop] is dead. I think that one of the things we want to see is how well he has done with his training regimen in Michigan. Before this offseason, I’m not sure he ever had any sort of structured, regimented conditioning program. The work that they have done on speed and agility and quickness, etc., may have an impact on his ability to play certain positions — including second base and conceivably even shortstop. But right now, that’s all speculation.”

Flores was a shortstop when he originally signed with the Mets in 2007, but he hasn’t played the position since 2011, mostly due to a lack of range. Alderson’s comments are a bit surprising given that many have doubts about his ability to even stick at second base in the big leagues, but the (perhaps far-fetched) hope is that the team-supervised conditioning program will pay dividends from an agility standpoint. Without that positional-flexibility, it could be a challenge for him to make the Opening Day roster.

Flores, 22, hit .211/.248/.295 with one home run and 13 RBI over 101 plate appearances in his first taste of the big leagues last year.

  1. plmathfoto - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    I hope Flores can do it, he looks like a good clutch hitter, almost anything is better than Tejada, Flores has no where else to play really.

    • bolweevils2 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      I get what your saying, and my inclination is to agree. But I have this nagging fear that it would end up being a case of giving up more on defense than would be gained on offense. It maybe be less painful for us to watch Flores not get to a ball Tejada would have than to see Tejada do nothing with the bat. But just because the damage is less obvious, doesn’t mean it is less damaging.

  2. stekaz - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    They’ve been saying he doesn’t profile as a shortstop for at least 2 years and he hasn’t played there in that time. He’s only 22, but now something’s changed in the last 2 months? I smell Drew negotiations. Your turn Scott.

    • D.J. Short - Jan 30, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      I think you could be right.

    • dan1111 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:07 AM

      I think a bit too much is being made of his words: “conceivably [he will have the ability to play] even shortstop…But right now, that’s all speculation”. Alderson isn’t even promising to give Flores a look at the position.

      To the extent that there is a purpose in his words, it might be to motivate Flores to do better at his off-season workout regimen.

  3. xdj511 - Jan 31, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Well after all of the handwringing all winter about the Mets and Ruben Tejada and how could they just hand the shortstop job to this guy… (pause for breath) now we’re talking about having somebody actually compete with him for the job… it’s not so farfetched really. It doesn’t mean that Flores will actually beat out Tejada for the job… he didn’t show much with the bat last year and he sounds like a downgrade defensively… but sometimes its nice to know you have options.

  4. bolweevils2 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Probably the best case scenario realistically would be if Flores could play short well enough to be a rarely used backup shortstop.

    And I don’t even know how realistic that is.

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