Mets rumors: Wilmer Flores could see time at shortstop

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The Mets gave up on Flores as a shortstop in 2011, but he might return to the position this spring.

The Mets will consider moving former shortstop prospect Wilmer Flores back to his "natural position" this spring, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.

Flores, still just 22 years old, made his major league debut last season as a utility infielder for New York. After signing with the club as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2007, Flores quickly made a name for himself as a promising shortstop prospect, appearing on several top prospects lists -- including Baseball America's top 100 from 2009 to 2011.

However, he struggled defensively, and the team resigned to using him as a utility infielder in the majors after he posted solid offensive numbers in Double- and Triple-A.

General manager Sandy Alderson might shift him back to shortstop this spring to see if he's developed better range at the position, but as Rubin notes, "he'll need to pick up a lot to convince scouts he could handle shortstop, even in a backup role."

Last season, the Mets used Omar Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada at short for the better part of the season. Both players failed to post an OPS over 600, leading to speculation that the team would attempt to address the position this winter. Although Stephen Drew has been attached to the team in rumors for most of the offseason, the club has given no indication that it will offer the multiyear deal Drew is looking for.

Having turned down the Red Sox qualifying offer in November, Drew will cost his new team a draft pick, but the Mets' first-round choice is protected, and they have already forfeited their second rounder by signing Curtis Granderson. He would be a considerable improvement over their current internal options.

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