WASHINGTON -- One possible first-base solution for the Mets inched closer to a return on Tuesday, when Wilmer Flores began a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton. Working his way back from a strained left hamstring, Flores played seven innings at first base, finishing 2-for-3.
On the disabled list since May 12, Flores could rejoin the Mets as soon as he is eligible on Friday. When he does, he is a strong bet to supplant Eric Campbell as the team's starting first baseman, in the wake of a lower-back stress fracture that will sideline regular starter Lucas Duda for four to six weeks.
But the Mets will keep an eye on external options, as well. One that they are already looking into, according to multiple reports, is former Dodgers first baseman James Loney. A left-handed hitter, Loney is a strong defender who could potentially platoon with Flores at first base until Duda is ready to return. Other trade options include former Met Kelly Johnson, as well as bigger-ticket items Chris Carter and Jonathan Lucroy.
For now, the Mets remain curious what Flores can do. Despite opening this season as the Mets' primary backup at all four infield positions, Flores received little playing time early in the year due to a dearth of left-handed opposing starters. He was hitting .180/.255/.280 in 19 games prior to landing on the DL.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.