Wilmer remains heavy favorite as shortstop

NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores remains very likely to be the starting shortstop for the Mets come Opening Day, sources tell ESPNNewYork.com.

That supports comments offered by Sandy Alderson before the holiday break. Alderson on Dec. 16 upgraded Flores' chances of having the starting role to "very high."

Wilmer Flores

Wilmer Flores

#4 SS
New York Mets

2014 STATS

  • GM78
  • HR6

  • RBI29

  • R28

  • OBP.286

  • AVG.251

While teams such as the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays may have an excess shortstop, a team insider indicated there was little if any dialogue with other clubs at the moment.

Meanwhile, downplaying a free-agent signing at the position, a team insider recently told ESPNNewYork.com: "I don't know who else would be out there right now."

So the Mets' remaining winter work may be limited to trading a starting pitcher -- likely Dillon Gee -- and potentially adding another lefty reliever or two on a minor-league contract to compete with Scott Rice, Sean Gilmartin, Darin Gorski, Jack Leathersich and Dario Alvarez. The Mets want a lefty complement to Josh Edgin in the bullpen to limit Edgin's workload, but are prepared to go with six right-handers in relief if none of the southpaws proves worthy in spring training.

No trade to deal away a starting pitcher is considered close.

Flores hit .322 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 90 at-bats with Margarita in his native Venezuela this winter. He is now expected back at the Mets' offseason conditioning camp, which has been relocated from Michigan to the team's spring-training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets maintain that continued offseason agility training should help Flores become a passable defensive shortstop.