It’s true you know, David Wright will be the face that launched a thousand posts during the 2012 season. Brace yourselves for an avalanche of rants and raves on what the Mets should do with their once budding star third baseman. As Wright gets ready to embark upon his ninth season with the Mets, the questions and concerns are bountiful, but the answers are in very short supply. Chief among the biggest concerns are:
1. Should the Mets trade Wright at the deadline?
2. If they decide to keep him should they offer him an extension?
3. What if he wants a Jose Reyes contract?
Wright’s Trade Value – With the new CBA any team that trades for Wright will not receive any draft compensation if Wright elects to become a free agent after the season. So not only is he a rental, but he’s a rental with no compensation.
The Mets I feel, didn’t do Wright any favors when they built the gargantuan Citi Field. Unlike so many other teams that tailor their park’s dimensions to favor their stars, Citi Field decimated Wright. It caused him to alter his swing and approach, it messed with his confidence and his psyche, and it sent him into a three year downward spiral.
Back in early January, Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger, defined Wright’s 2011 campaign, the least-productive of his eight-year career, by two significant events;
The first occurred around third base at Citi Field on April 19, when Wright applied a diving tag and suffered a stress fracture in his lower back. The injury cost him two months of action and effectively scuttled his season.
The second occurred the next month in the glossy pages of the New Yorker. By now, Fred Wilpon’s disparaging of Wright has become part of the lexicon. Wright is “a really good kid,” Wilpon said. “A very good player. Not a superstar.”
Wright suffered through his worst season in 2011, with career lows in batting average (.254), slugging percentage (.427) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.771).
What makes Wright so special is his willingness to always say and do the right things. Most players would have fired back at their owner for making such critical remarks against them to the press, but not Wright.
“Do I wish that Fred wouldn’t have said those things?” Wright said. “Of course. But I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. No matter what has been said, no matter what will be said, I’ll always have a certain love for that family. For drafting me. For developing me. It was a tough time for us as a team. He said it. It’s in the past. You get over it, and just kind of forgive and forget. One comment in a magazine doesn’t reverse what they’ve done for me.”
But getting back to the point of this post, how do we move forward with Wright?
Do we trade him, keep him, extend him, or simply let him walk like Reyes did when that time comes?
How much do you think he’s worth?
That’s a tough one. His value to the team goes far beyond his on-the-field performance alone. I don’t really have an answer. This is going to be something that will evolve throughout the season and there’s no question that our emotions will be tied up in knots.