The Brooklyn Robins made their first cannonball into free agency in some 5 years today when they signed 2 time Landis winning catcher Francisco Flores to an extremely lucrative 6 year deal. The contract will pay the 27 year old catcher a whopping $26.5 million in 2042, followed by a more modest $13 million in 2043/44, then to a more manageable $12 mil in 2045, $11 mil in 2046 and a player option of $19 million if he stays through 2047.
The giant money bomb in the first season is not a tactic that Brooklyn usually employs. But with the pending sale of the team to a Middle East investor following the 2042 season, the Robins did not want to blow the deal by signing a back loaded albatross contract.
Flores immediately gives an already potent Robin lineup more depth. Brooklyn manager Mike Wilkinson has said that he expects Flores to hit sixth or possibly seventh in the lineup.
"Right now we are looking at Slizz and Drouin at the top. Vega, O'Bryan, and whoever is our DH/RF appear to be in the heart. Flores, as a guy who hits for high contact-low eye is ideal to bat behind all them to get the big hit that puts the dagger in the inning"
The pact with Flores has it's casualties. 2nd year catcher Mzee Kiango did not think his job was in danger. The 23 year old left handed hitting Kenyan catcher is coming off a solid .280/.336/.482 rookie campaign. But such is life in the big city.
"Mzee did an admirable job last season and is as good of a defender as anyone in the league.", said Wilkinson. "Having him come off the bench is such a great luxury and speaks volumes to the depth we have as a team."
The move also keeps Etienne Kop in the minors for the time being. The 22 year old Kop is one of the unicorns of the BBA. A left handed hitting catcher with 10 ability.... who can also play all 8 positions on the diamond(to varying levels of success). Kop will get lots of reps at second base and the four corners this season to prepare him for his future role as a 27th man on the BBA roster.
Along with the signing of Flores, the Robins also made a low key move bringing in veteran outfielder Tim Torres. While it's not really clear where Torres will play at the moment. Brooklyn made a conscience effort to improve clubhouse culture and team popularity this winter. Torres checks both of those boxes on an affordable level. He can also serve as an emergency centerfielder.
Brooklyn was thought to be done in free agency as they blew their wad on Flores. But we have been informed that Robins owner Dale "Moneybags" Doback has obviously not learned from past mistakes and has raised the Robins budget another $20 million. With teams around the BBA trying to lowball Júlio Alicea. One has to assume he could be the next Brooklyn overpay.