Wilmer, Giants agree to two-year deal

February 12th, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants added another veteran to their crowded infield mix, announcing a two-year contract with on Wednesday.

The multiyear deal is worth $6.25 million, with Flores making $3 million in each of the next two seasons. It also includes a club option for the 2022 season that would pay Flores $3.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.

It marks the first multiyear deal given out by president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who joined the Giants in November 2018.

“The addition of Wilmer Flores gives us great flexibility with his ability to play across the infield,” Zaidi said in a statement announcing the signing. “Offensively, he matches up well against both right-handed and left-handed pitching and adds another bat to the mix that can help lengthen our lineup.”

Flores, 28, should be a nice piece for the Giants due to his defensive versatility and his impressive track record against left-handed pitching. He hit .317/.361/.487 over 285 plate appearances with the D-backs in 2019, though he was limited to only 89 games due to a right foot injury.

Flores, who became a free agent after Arizona opted to decline his 2020 option in October, inflicted the bulk of his damage against lefties, batting .337 with a .982 OPS over 109 plate appearances against them last year. The right-handed hitter appeared at first and second base for the D-backs, though he came up as a shortstop with the Mets and also has experience playing third.

Flores will likely assume a utility role with the Giants, and he could help back up third baseman Evan Longoria and first baseman Brandon Belt, who hit only .211 with a .664 OPS against lefties last year. San Francisco has another corner-infield option in Pablo Sandoval, who re-signed on a Minor League deal last week, though he is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to be ready by Opening Day.

Mauricio Dubón, Donovan Solano and newcomer Yolmer Sánchez are expected to compete for time at second base this spring, but the Giants are planning to try Dubón in the outfield, which could open up more playing time for others.

Flores’ arrival only deepens the Giants’ inventory of infielders, and it will create plenty of versatility for new manager Gabe Kapler to work with during Spring Training and beyond. The Dodgers embraced platoons during Zaidi’s tenure as Los Angeles’ general manager, and it now appears that the Giants are assembling the pieces to import a similar system in 2020.