Likely a candidate to be non-tendered before Monday’s deadline, Tyler Flowers may end up being a fit for the New York Mets who are actively seeking a backup catcher. Team officials have expressed an interest in Flowers in the past, according to Mike Puma at the New York Post, and there is belief that the team could be interested in bringing him aboard as the backup to Travis d’Arnaud.
Flowers struggled at the plate this past season, batting just .195/.247/.355 in 275 PA. He did hit a career best 10 HR but also struck out 94 times. Once considered one of the more intriguing catching prospects in baseball, Flowers has yet to develop the power stroke that most scouts thought he might. He’s hit just .200/.279/.372 in 592 PA over the past five seasons with the White Sox but has been solid defensively. Facing arbitration for the first time he’s projected to see a bump to $900,000 for the 2014 season.
While that might not seem like a significant sum, the White Sox dealt with extraordinarily poor production from their catchers in 2013. Flowers split playing time with rookie Josh Phegley, who also failed to impress. Phegley batted .206/.223/.299 in 213 PA on the year but he’ll still earn close to the league minimum for the next two seasons. His minor league numbers have generally been stronger than Flowers’ and there appears to be little motivation by the team to retain both players heading into next season.
Flowers is still just 27 and could draw interest from teams if he is non-tendered and hits the open market. Most organizations may not be willing to give him anything more than a minor league deal, however, so his choice may largely depend on which opportunity gives him the best chance at playing time.