Here’s A Thought… What If David Wright Doesn’t Want To Stay?
I keep hearing, “Will the Mets re-sign David Wright?” and “What will it take to keep David Wright?” and “How can the Mets not afford to bring back David Wright?”
All very good, pointed and legitimate questions. Here’s some more: “What if David Wright wants to leave?” and “What’s keeping David Wright tied to the Mets?”
Unquestionably, Wright is the face of this franchise, he’s the most popular, he’s their best player. And, he’s still young enough where the team can build around him. But, what if Wright doesn’t want them to build around him anymore?
Seriously. Mull that over for a moment.
Jose Reyes is gone and so is Carlos Beltran, the latter whom is having a great season. Those were the position-player building blocks the team had around Wright. They are gone and if published reports are to be believed, might Ike Davis be next? Afterall, outside of their young pitching Davis figures to bring back the most in return.
Sandy Alderson has already said not to expect a winter spending spree, so realistically, the 2013 Mets will be vastly similar to this year’s second-half collapse model, with the hope being improvement from within, notably a strong first full season from Matt Harvey. Even so, the Mets are probably two or three years away from serious playoff contention.
Wright will be 33 in three years and perhaps nine years removed from his last playoff appearance (2006). Don’t you think he might be tired of being pitched around, losing and making public relations appearances for a team not going anywhere?
By that time, if not traded or having left as free agents, what will the 2015 Mets look like?
Just last week Wright said there are no moral victories and it is all about making the playoffs. At the same time, R.A. Dickey said “you’re kidding yourself if you think we’re more than one piece away.”
Wright said he wants to remain a Met, but hasn’t said he can’t say he’ll stay a Met regardless. He’d be crazy to say such a thing because it would limit his bargaining power. As it is, Wright won’t come close to hitting 30 homers, a milestone he’s reached several times, most recently in 2008. It has been part injuries, part Citi Field, part being pitched around and part bad habits that have led to Wright’s drop in power.
Wright has an option for next season which the team will undoubtedly pick us as to not risk heading into the ticket-selling offseason without their key player. If the Mets fail to sign him to an extension and then aren’t able to trade him as they didn’t Reyes, Wright will be a free agent and his phone will ring.
And, if the Mets don’t add some pieces around him soon, he’ll listen. He’d be a fool not to.
Thoughts from Joe D.
As much as I hope and want the Mets and Wright to agree on an extension, it’s certainly no slam dunk. I keep hearing fans tell me that Wright is different and he don’t care about money. They tell me Wright is loyal and that there’s no way he’ll play for someone else. I hear these things and I just laugh to myself while keeping a serious and interested look on my face. “What are they thinking?” my mind says…
What’s keeping you at your jobs? If someone offered you triple your salary would you say sorry and play your loyalty card? You may think that’s how Wright operates, but I disagree. I give Wright a lot more credit and believe he’s a lot more intelligent than that.
David Wright is neither foolish or naive. He will do what all players do and put his own personal interests at the forefront of any negotiation. If he doesn’t he might be one of the biggest and most ignorant players in the history of the Mets.
Wright will want to see a viable plan from this front office. The same plan I’ve been asking about for the last six months.
Wright will want to know what else is coming besides a few good prospects that may or may not make it.
He’ll want to know the numbers about the present payroll budget and beyond.
He has seen how Beltran, Delgado, Bay and Santana were treated when they didn’t live up to expectations due to health reasons or decline.
This is a franchise with fans that booed Mike Piazza during the final two years of his contract – someone Wright looked up to and wanted to be like some day.
Wright has seen the best and the worst of the Mets, mostly the worst. This front office better have a plan to present to him in addition to a market value contract offer if they want to keep Wright from bolting out the Gill Hodges gate after the 2013 season or before.
The bidding begins at five years and $100 million and it could go up from there and he will have an iron clad no-trade clause and one that will preclude compensation ala Carlos Beltran if he does submit a list of five teams that would be okay with him.
But more important than all that, you better show him a plan that will convince him this team will contend for the NL East for the next 5-6 years, or the financials of a deal won’t even matter.
Wright’s no dummy…
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that.
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