SF Giants lock up fan-favorite infielder to an extension

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants
Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

SF Giants middle infielder Wilmer Flores' three-year, $9.5 million contract was set to expire at the end of the year, thereby becoming a free agent. However, any plans of hitting free agency were halted on Monday morning when Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed that Flores had agreed to a two-year extension with a mutual option for 2025.

SF Giants lock up fan-favorite infielder to an extension

The 31-year-old is slated to earn $6.5 million per year over the next two seasons. Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes that Flores will have a $3.5 million player option for 2025, but if he does not exercise it, the Giants can choose to retain him for $8.5 million.

This felt like the type of move that the Giants needed to make. San Francisco has fallen out of the playoff picture with a 67-73 record and they have struggled in many facets of the game. There are not many players on the roster who should be guaranteed a spot for next season but Flores is certainly one of them.

He is in the midst of his third season with the Giants and continues to be a steady producer and a leader in the clubhouse. In 523 plate appearances, the eight-year veteran has slashed .235/.319/.414 (104 OPS+) with 18 home runs, 65 RBI, and 66 runs in 2022. This includes a 9.4 percent walk rate against a 16.6 percent strikeout rate.

This is the type of production that the Giants have come to expect from Flores. In three seasons with the Giants, the right-handed bat has recorded a .251/.324/.446 line (110 OPS+) while blasting at least 10 home runs in each season. His home run output (18) in 2022 matches a career-high that he previously set in 2017 and 2021.

Flores brings a skill set that Giants fans want more of in that he is not necessarily a platoon hitter. He has produced an .805 OPS against lefties in his career compared to a respectable .727 OPS against righties.

As the season winds down, the Giants will hand out the Willie Mac award to the player that best embodies the spirit of longtime Giants first baseman Wille McCovey. It is not just based on performance, but it factors in a player's leadership contributions as well. No one on the Giants roster this season has represented those qualities better than Flores.

The extension is a nice starting for the Giants as they look to improve a roster that has underperformed in 2022. This is the starting point for what should be a series of moves that the Giants need to make in the offseason.