Is Wilmer Flores an option for the Chicago White Sox?
By Brian Draus
Over the last couple of days, rumors have surfaced that the Chicago White Sox are interested in New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores. Would Flores make sense for the White Sox? Well, considering the other options are going with Tyler Saladino or re-signing Alexei Ramirez, it really isn’t the worst idea.
As of right now, Flores is expendable in New York due to the fact that Asdrubal Cabrera is currently the starting shortstop. While Flores is a low OBP % player, he would provide the White Sox with power at short (16 home runs in 483 AB’s in 2015).
The power number is a bit intriguing to me, considering the fact that Citi Field is more of a pitchers ballpark. In reference to Flores’ power, assuming he played a full season at U.S. Cellular Field, could he go deep over 20 times?
Another fact to point out is the fact that Flores is only 24 years old, and will turn 25 this August. Flores still has upside, which could actually end up causing a bit of a problem when it comes to White Sox #1 prospect Tim Anderson. Anderson is a shortstop, and if the Sox trade for Flores that means that Anderson could be used as trade bait. If Anderson is dealt for a legit young starting pitcher, and the team can have Flores as their starting shortstop, I think they could do worse.
Flores has the ability to at least be an above average defender at the MLB level. He doesn’t seem to make an abundance of errors (.970 FP% at SS in his MLB career), and has good range. Another quality he has is the fact that he doesn’t strike out often. In 483 at bats, Flores only struck out 63 times in 2015. As I stated above, he doesn’t walk much. With only 19 walks in 2015, his OBP% was only .295, which wasn’t much higher than his batting average (.263).
Overall, bringing in Flores wouldn’t be the worst idea for the White Sox, under one condition. That condition would be the team dealing a top prospect for a legit young starting pitcher. I am not talking about a #4 starter either. What they need to acquire in this deal (if they were to make it) is a pitcher the level of Quintana or better. Given everything in this article is speculative, I wouldn’t worry too much right now about dealing Anderson if you think he is the future at shortstop. Until then, enjoy the hot stove White Sox fans!