Andy Martino of the Daily News believes that there will be no shortage of David Wright rumors this hot stove season.
After speaking with various NL executives as well as team sources, Martino comes up with three things to keep in mind:
* No matter what happens with Jose Reyes this winter, it is highly unlikely that Wright will be traded before spring training. “(Sandy Alderson) would have to totally be bowled over (with an offer),” said one National League exec who has spoken with Alderson. When an opposing general manager calls Alderson about Wright, the Mets GM will not say, “please, just stop talking,” but he will be strongly disinclined to deal.
* Wondering if Wright, who will be 29 in December, might sign a contract extension if Reyes departs? Not happening. Sources close to Wright’s camp say that agents Seth and Sam Levinson do not plan to reach out to the Mets this winter, and people close to the team predict Wright’s contract will remain “status quo” (he has one more guaranteed year, followed by a club option).
* Here is where it might get interesting. If the Mets struggle in the early months of the 2012 season, there is a strong chance they could become more aggressive about shopping Wright, according to NL executives briefed on their thinking. That is when the rumors might change from silly to serious.
As Wright embarks on the final guaranteed year of his contract, I wouldn’t be shocked if he posts his best season ever – much like we saw Reyes do in his walk year. The changes to Citi Field are tailor-made for Wright to start mashing the ball as he did his last two years at Shea.
If his value skyrockets come July, you can bet the temptation to trade him will loom large with Sandy Alderson. Though he opted to keep Reyes during the 2011 trade deadline, the likely result is he’ll have only two draft picks in exchange for the NL’s top hitter who at 28 is entering the prime of his career.
I don’t see Alderson having another homegrown star in his prime simply walk away into free agency like Reyes, and only having just one or two draft picks to show for him. And while Wright does have that 2013 team option, if a team does bowl Alderson over with an offer, he won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
That said, most major league teams strive for the rare opportunity to develop star quality players like Jose Reyes and David Wright. This is the dream, this is the hope, this is what it’s all about… These are the players you build around and keep…
Former Met starter Al Leiter, who is now one of the best baseball analysts in the game, knows exactly what I’m talking about.
“Any time you have a great cornerstone player and let them become a free agent, that’s the risk you take,” Leiter said. “To me, it’s a red flag.”
To see a large market team unable to hang onto their own homegrown stars is quite deflating. It may be decades before we ever see the Mets develop two core players like Reyes and Wright again. Once they are gone, all we’ll have to show for them are about two dozen franchise records,