Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the Arizona Diamondbacks and infielder Wilmer Flores have agreed to a one-year deal with a club option for 2020. Pedro Gómez (also of ESPN) had reported earlier in the afternoon that the former Met had been closing in on a deal with a team in the NL West. The deal is worth $4.25 million including a $500K buyout on his club option in 2020 that worth $6 million if exercised.
Flores, 27, hit .267/.319/.417 in 126 games with the Mets last year. Originally a shortstop, the longtime fan favorite had spent the last three years between first, second, and third base, primarily serving as a platoon hitter against left-handed pitching.
The infielder was non-tendered by the organization in December, thus ending a six-year tenure in which he compiled a .727 OPS and set a franchise record with 11 walk-off hits. Flores’ time in the organization itself dates all the way back to 2007 – when he signed out of Venezuela at just 16 years of age.
While he struggled to make noise against lefties this past year (as a .610 OPS and .264 wOBA can attest), Flores’ .314/.349/.620 line across the prior three seasons and 13.1% K-rate in that time will both play out well in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks’ corners will very likely hinge on the health and consistency of Jake Lamb and Eduardo Escobar, and they could possibly deploy Flores at second and move Ketel Marte to center field in order to garner more at-bats.
Flores’ career -35 DRS on the left side of the infield is a clear red flag, however, and certainly contributed to his ouster in New York. Considering he hasn’t cracked 500 plate appearances in a season since 2015, Flores’ value to the Diamondbacks will almost certainly hinge on staying healthy as well.