In Bill Ladson’s latest Inbox on MLB.com, he answers this question on Jesus Flores:
“When Jesus Flores comes back healthy, will he be the starter behind the plate?
-- William, M., Great Falls, Va.
From what I understand, Flores' right shoulder is 100 percent. He will battle for one of the spots behind the plate, but it would not come as a surprise if the Nationals use Flores as a trade chip during Spring Training.”
This isn’t something I had thought about, but Ladson is probably on to something here. Catchers are a hot commodity in today’s league and while Flores isn’t exactly the most reliable player, he is young and some may feel he still has some untapped potential.
When Flores was last in the lineup he hit a “healthy” .301/.371/.505 in 106 plate appearances in 2009. He has good gap power and was considered a strong blocking catcher before the injuries…we’ll have to see what’s left of him come spring.
The beauty of it is though that a lot of teams go into Spring Training with catching as a huge question mark. If Flores produces down in Florida in March, and invitees from other team’s don’t…his value should be relatively high.
Considering the Nationals have essentially four catchers in their system, any return for Flores would be considered a win for Washington.