Mar 19, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielderRamon Flores
(77) singled against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
After two days of consecutive trades, I should have known that being disconnected from Twitter was a mistake. Earlier today, it was announced that the Brewers made their third trade in as many days, sending Luis Sardiñas to the Mariners for Ramon Flores.
The 23-year-old outfielder played just 14 games in the Mariners system after being traded by the Yankees in 2015 as part of the Dustin Ackley trade. One trade per day is a precedent I can only hope the Brewers continue until Opening Day, when our team is full of people we’ve never heard of.
Sardiñas came to the Brewers from the Rangers as part of the Yovani Gallardo trade in January. In 2015, Sardiñas hit around his career average in AAA, slashing .282/.319/.359, while struggling in a brief stint with the Brewers.
His ceiling is still a light-hitting shortstop who starts thanks to his plus-range and above-average arm. More likely, the 22-year-old Venezuelan fits as a utility man with solid defense all around. Flores has a more promising offensive profile, while having less value on defense.
FanGraphs and MLB.com say Flores can play (or “manage”) all three outfield spots, while Baseball America says, “he doesn’t have the chops to play center field on an everyday basis.” If we split the difference, we can assume he’s at least a decent to fringe center fielder, but profiles better at the corners.
Unfortunately, Flores likely won’t hit enough to earn a corner spot, as he walks a ton, but shows little pop (.275/.363/.405 in minor league career). It is worth noting that his last two seasons have been the best of his career, and his AAA slash is his best at any level, at .282/.376/.449.
Any time a Brewers farmhand looks like a corner outfielder, and fits this profile of strike-zone discipline and low power, he gets compared to Nori Aoki. Just ask Michael Reed. But the comparisons really do make sense, though Flores probably won’t hit as much as the former Brewers right fielder does.
There is also the question of the Brewers depth chart, which is already full of outfielders looking for starting time with more on the way, though they were also stocked up on middle infielders:
What’s not clear yet is whether Flores takes Shane Peterson‘s job as fourth outfielder, or if he will see more time in the minor leagues. He has played just a handful of Major League games, but has little left to prove in AAA. Peterson and Flores have very similar profiles, with little power and good on-base ability from the left side of the plate, and passable defense in center.
He certainly has a vision, and restructuring the team to suit his needs is what every new GM should do, particularly when he is trying to make them competitive in just two or three years. I look forward to seeing who gets traded tomorrow.