No matter what Mets site, MLB radio show, or sports network you attend during the day the topic of David Wright seems to permeate the airways for Mets fans. All day people, including myself, discuss the worth of our All-Star 3B and one of the best if not the best position player the Mets have ever developed. Do the Mets sign him long-term? Do they trade him to whatever team willing to give prospects to complete the rebuild process? Do they let him play out his contract and then see where the team is at that point? And even those options have sub-options.
1) Sign him long-term, GET IT DUN SANDY: How long is long and for how much? As our guys at MMO will tell you Sandy don’t like no long-term contracts. Well that’s not exactly what he said. He said those were reserved for the young elite. Is Wright one of those young elites? Looking at MLBTR’s list of potential FA for this off-season I counted less than five positional players younger than Wright. Clearly if Wright was a FA this off-season he would leap to the top of almost every offensive wish list, perhaps only second to Josh Hamilton, baggage and all. So back to the point, what’s he worth? Obviously most fans would love to get Wright for 4 years and about 18 per season. I don’t see that happening. This season has proven, while streaky, that Wright is still a top level 3B and that is a commodity that won’t be cheap. I would imagine that it will take the Mets no less than 5 additional years at 18-20M per year. If you do not feel that option one works for the Mets, move to option 2.
2) TRAID WRIGHT!!!: Boy this group has been throwing this out there since the fateful September night that determined if Wright was clutch or not. But does it now have merit? Will they get their wish? Because of a clause in Wright’s contract, he could void his 2013 contract if traded during the 2012 season. Based on speculative reports, Wright can officially be traded after the World Series as soon as the Mets pick up his option for 2013. So what is the thought process behind trading Wright? I mean besides he stole the press from Reyes and struck out in September while batting about .350 for the month? The Mets are bad and Wright is our best asset if trading for prospects is your idea of fixing the current direction of the Mets. Wright has proven one thing, as all stars do, he can’t do it by himself and currently there is no one close to providing a consistent threat in the lineup to back him up. Please don’t say Ike either. While he has made great strides, Adam Dunn of the East needs to put up numbers over an entire season before he can be counted on as protection for anyone. So back to the point again. In theory the Mets are bad enough with Wright so might as well trade him instead of getting nothing. Add to that the contention that focuses only on the comments made by Wright about looking to play for a winner and you have the potential to have the Reyes situation over again where the Mets get uh… who did we draft for Reyes? So if the Mets do decide that trading Wright is in the best interest what should they look for and what level of players could they get? Boy, there’s a mystery. You get one season of Wright, the Mets would need to make sure he was willing to negotiate with that team to maximize the trade value. I would expect 2 players within a reasonable level of Wheeler and a filler piece or two. I saw one poster speculate about another trade with the Giants, our favorite trading partner. David Wright for Gary Brown, Pablo, one more top level prospect and filler. I have no idea what the offers would actually be only that the Mets could look to plug 3B to wait on Flores to develop for another year and would have to do it with a RH. Of course you would free up Wright’s 15-20M for other players but who is going to replace that production and would the Wilpons even spend it.
3) You Got Him For One More Year, Why the Rush?: You don’t hear this group as much but it has it’s own reasoning as well. The Mets were supposed to answer a lot of questions this year. Unfortunately many of those questions turned into more questions. Davis, Duda, Murphy, Gee… With Johan and Bay still on the books surrounded by so many question marks 2013 is bound to be another “transition year” as well. Perhaps the D & D become the middle of the lineup force, perhaps the rotation and pen become strengths. If so then you have an All-Star 3B for another year and have a chance to compete by adding a little here and there and then reassess in July and or October of 2013. Perhaps you are putting off the inevitable but you could buy yourself time and if Wright really wants to stay you could re-sign him after the season. Call this the Reyes plan. However, just because the Reyes plan backfired, does that mean this one will as well?
Personally I can’t back any of the options 100%. Currently I think they have to either work out an extension by the Winter Meetings or send him packing by Christmas. This isn’t an easy decision that Sandy and the Mets are faced with and as usual there will be detractors regardless. My hope is that what we wished for when Sandy came in, the adult in the room, is able to look at all alternatives and make a decision based on the long-term success of the Mets and not the current whims of the fans. If for nothing else it should make for an interesting winter.