- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Anybody (Else) Love Wilmer?

Some players you take an instant liking to. I took an instant liking to Wilmer Flores [1] when he first came up two Augusts ago. He’s likable. He’s rootable. I’m rooting for him to succeed if indeed he is the Mets’ starting shortstop in the year ahead. I rooted for morning-line starting second baseman Brad Emaus [2] heading into 2011 and presumptive starting center fielder Collin Cowgill [3] in advance of 2013, but that was more about rooting for the Mets and less about the Bill Pecota [4]n entities filling particular roles. I can’t say I worked up a winter passion for either one of them. Flores’s case is different in terms of a mostly unproven commodity being essentially handed a very important assignment and me being enthusiastic about the man in the uniform. I’d love for Wilmer to work out for the Mets because, as I said, I like him.

Look at that face. What's not to like? (Photo by Sharon Chapman.) [5]

Look at that face. What’s not to like? (Photo by Sharon Chapman.)

Yet I find myself wondering: Are other general managers calling, texting, e-mailing, faxing and/or Telexing Sandy Alderson to ask into Wilmer Flores’s availability? Shouldn’t they be? Wilmer is 23 years old, plays multiple positions, is heralded for his hitting ability, drove in six runs in two different games in 2014, isn’t arbitration-eligible until 2017 and is under team control for the rest of the decade. It sounds like the makings of a sizzling hot stove commodity.

It may well be that his name has come up in conversations that have completely flown under the rumor radar, but how come you never hear anything about how in demand young, potential-laden Wilmer Flores is? Are the Mets the only team that knows what a gem they’re nurturing? He’s been tabbed the Opening Day shortstop months ahead of the 2015 season by a team widely considered on the cusp of contention. How come some organization among the other 29 hasn’t been reported to be doing its damnedest to pry Flores loose?

If he’s good enough for the New York Mets, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be considered a great get for somebody else. Plus you’d think the Mets’ competitors would want to impede their budding rivals as they approach maturation. What better way to halt the burgeoning Big Met Machine than by poaching their prize shortstop prospect?

Yet we don’t hear about anybody trying to trade for the kid. It seems several shortstops changed uniforms this offseason. Nobody made a play for Wilmer? Teams reportedly come at the Mets dangling their own shortstops — allegedly asking the moon in exchange [6] — but the player or players they want back are never supposedly Flores. These other teams have their own agendas. They don’t care about helping the Mets unless they can help themselves. Yet nobody wants to help themselves to Wilmer Flores, the Met the Mets keep insisting will be the bedrock of their infield?

For someone so likable, it’s strange that more teams aren’t signaling any kind of attraction to him.