The San Francisco Giants have reportedly signed versatile infielder Wilmer Flores to a multi-year deal marking the first multi-year contract given out by Farhan Zaidi in his tenure with the team.
The San Francisco Giants have actually signed a proven, accomplished major-league player. And they’ve done so by handing versatile infielder Wilmer Flores a multi-year contract, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan earlier on Tuesday.
Yes, that’s right. The Giants have signed someone to a multi-year contract. After 15 months served as the Giants president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi has finally signed someone to a contract that extends longer than one season.
And Flores is a pretty good player who makes a ton of sense for the Giants.
The 28-year-old spent the first six years of his career playing for the New York Mets. Flores gained a reputation as a below-average fielding — but versatile — infielder who could destroy lefties and hit for some power.
He is perhaps most remembered for his on-field display of emotion back in 2015 when he thought that he had been traded away from the Mets. If anything, that moment only made him more endearing to Mets fans.
Flores spent last season playing in a part-time role with the Arizona Diamondbacks and he put together some of the best numbers of his career. The native Venezuelan slashed a career-high .317/.361/.487 and drove in 37 RBI and nine home runs in 89 games.
In particular, Flores crushed lefties.
In 46 games (109 plate appearances) against lefties, Flores had an OPS of .982 and hit seven of his nine homers despite significantly fewer at-bats.
Aside from being a lefty killer, Flores has also faired quite well against the Giants in his career. In 37 career games against San Francisco, Flores has slashed .387/.439/.639 while knocking in 19 RBI and five home runs.
Even more specifically, Flores has a career average of .349 in Oracle Park meaning that he should feel right at home in San Francisco.
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Given his versatility, the Giants could look to use him as a super-utility player who primarily plays against lefties. It would make sense if Flores entered into some sort of platoon with Brandon Belt at first base with the Giants looking to get Belt fewer at-bats against lefties.
But aside from first, Flores has remarkably played between 135 and 158 career games at each of the four infield positions. He could factor into the second base competition, split with Brandon Crawford at shortstop against lefties, and even spell Evan Longoria at third base from time to time.
The possibilities are endless and new manager Gabe Kapler should have a myriad of different lineup alignments to try out in 2020.
Flores gives the Giants exactly what they’re looking for. Increased versatility and a player who could step in and hit lefties.
The fact that it’s a multi-year deal — Jon Heyman is now reporting that it’s a two-year deal plus an option — indicates that Zaidi clearly sees a future for Wilmer Flores in San Francisco.
And Giants fans could rejoice in knowing that they landed one of the best bats still on the market here in early February.