One player that Sandy Alderson should target this winter is Washington Nationals catcher, and former Met farmhand, Jesus Flores. The Nationals are unbelievably deep behind the plate not only in the majors, where Wilson Ramos is a budding star, but also in the minors where they are stocked with catching talent at nearly every level.
The Nat’s have in-house options at the back-stop position for years to come with such prospects as: Slugger and top prospect Derek Norris, Dave Freitas, Adrian Nieto, Jhonatan Solano, and Sandy Leon. On the big league roster last season you had the young stud Ramos, being mentored by the wise, old sage, Ivan Rodriguez, and a disgruntled number three catcher by the name of Jesus Flores. Why was Flores disgruntled you might ask?
At age 27, he was finally healthy after two years recovering from a torn labrum in his shoulder. Stuck behind Ramos and Pudge, he only amassed 86 AB’s in 30 games for 2011. Clearly, he is severely blocked and with Derek Norris literally breathing down his neck, Flores is surely noticing a big squeeze to his playing time when he feels he should be the starter.
“It was great just to make my comeback, to be on the field again and start. I didn’t have a really great spring training with numbers. But physically, I was seeing myself improving. I was healthy. My shoulder was coming along. I started the season in Triple A, just getting used to the everyday playing. When I got called up, I could see that everything wasn’t the way I was used to it before. It was an adjustment, I had to adapt to the situation. I’m still 27. I’m in good shape. I still have a lot of talent to be a No. 1 catcher.”
When asked if he would welcome a trade and a new opportunity somewhere else, he stated:
“I don’t know, it’s hard to answer that right now. Wilson (Ramos) is having a great year. I’m happy for such a good kid. He’s kind of the same position I was before I got hurt, and he’s taken advantage. That’s good. But I will keep working and preparing to be the No. 1. I just want to play.”
Well Mets fans, I think we could offer Flores a chance to play everyday and seeing as he’s just what we need to take over the lion’s share of playing time from Josh Thole, the only question is “what are we waiting for?”
I know the Mets are limited as to what they can offer a team in a trade but let’s face it, Jesus Flores is not exactly Joe Mauer or Buster Posey. To acquire him would take a fair proposal, but the Mets have enough quality players in the system, to make one. I think this is one move that Sandy must seriously explore. Flores will definitely be traded this winter, and now the question is, to whom?