[UPDATE 6:52 PM] – Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post is reporting that Flores’ deal will be worth a very friendly $815,000 with $50,000 in bonuses based on games played.
[Original post] In 2009, Jesus Flores was the catcher of the future for the Washington Nationals, and with good reason. One unfortunate foul tip into his shoulder changed that quickly, as he missed the better part of the next 2 seasons recovering from the injury. Today, Flores and the Nationals agreed to terms for a one-year deal, thus avoiding salary arbitration. The financials of the deal are not yet available.
When the team went out and traded for Wilson Ramos in 2010, Flores was still recovering from his shoulder injury, and there was no defined time table for his return. Not to mention, the Nats were able to pick up one of the top catching prospects in baseball who was blocked by Joe Mauer in Minnesota. In doing that, though, Ramos blocked Flores from returning to the starter role he left in 2009 after his injury.
At the end of last season, Flores was frustrated with his lack of playing time, and it was unclear whether the Nationals would bring him back for the 2012 season. The team had Derek Norris waiting in the wings, and he would have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. Then, the Nats traded Norris and 3 other prospects for LHP Gio Gonzalez. The Nationals weren’t left with many other options except to bring Flores back to DC as a back up in 2012.
It is certainly possible that the Nationals will still try to move Flores before the deadline this season if they could get some good pieces out of it. However, it is hard to imagine a better, more promising back up than Flores right now. The Nationals could truly benefit from depth at a position where there usually isn’t much. Some people will be excited about this deal, others will be indifferent, but it’s hard to imagine anyone being upset by it, so it looks like another win for the front office. We’ll update this story after the financials are released.