Last week in one of our MMO Roundtable posts, I posed the question to our staff about whether David Wright would be back in a Mets uniform next season. Only one out of the seventeen who replied said Wright wouldn’t be back. Almost all of them made comments that Sandy Alderson has to do “whatever it takes”, or that this was “a no-brainer”.
It was a landslide. Mets fans love David Wright and obviously 99.9% of MMO does too.
I myself abstained from the vote because this whole Wright situation isn’t the slam dunk for me that everyone else seems to think it is. By slam dunk I’m not saying that he will get extended, but the prevailing sentiment that he should.
We now know that Alderson will pick up the $15 million dollar option. As he said last week, it’s locked in and he doesn’t see anything happening that will change that. This means that whatever extension David Wright signs, will begin right after the 2013 season is over making him 31 years old when the new contract begins.
The more thought I give this matter, the more concerned I become that a seven or eight year deal could become a bigger disaster than any deal Omar Minaya ever signed while he was GM. I was under the mistaken impression that we were moving past conducting business that way. Obviously I was wrong.
I thought we were done with second generation contracts?
All of you know I’ve been a huge Wright fan and avid supporter from the day he was drafted. I’ve enjoyed watching him come up and develop into one the game’s top third baseman and become a perennial National League All Star. But I have to tell you that Wright’s second half this season has raised some red flags for me. I certainly did not expect him to continue his .350 pace after the break, but at the same time I never thought he’d sink 100 points lower in batting average and 250 points lower in OPS either. Wright didn’t just slow down his first half pace, he freaking fell off a cliff.
Let’s not play favorites here and try to be objective…
The fact is that David Wright peaked in 2007 (.963 OPS), plateaued in 2008 (.924) and has declined ever since. Is that a fair statement to make? His 2012 season was phenomenal overall, but let’s not pretend that it wasn’t due mostly to his first half production, and that he could have given Claude Rains a run for his money in the role of the Invisible Man in the second half.
We are talking about giving a seven year deal that could fall somewhere between the range of $125-$150 million dollars. Wright will be 37 when he starts the final year of that contract.
In contrast, Carlos Beltran signed his seven year deal at age 28 and was 34 in the final year of his contract. If any of you have considered Beltran’s contract to be bad, how can you even entertain the thought of an even worse contract on an older player who peaked five years ago?
Also, there’s another important factor to note here. Beltran was still peaking when he was signed, Wright is in decline.
The kind of money we are considering for Wright is normally what most teams would give to their core or franchise player. But at 31 can you still call Wright a core or franchise player? Are 31 year old players what you build a team around? I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it.
The team is in a tight spot. It’s a damned if you do or damned if you don’t type situation. Can you imagine the outcry from the fans if he were to be traded by Alderson?
Even I cringe at the thought of that, but I’m just a fan and he is a general manager and baseball is a business. Alderson was supposedly brought here to make sure that the mistakes of the past were never repeated again.
Minaya was often ridiculed because he often listened to the fans, but I’m telling you that if Sandy gives Wright a seven year deal he is guilty of the same charge. Actually it would be worse because Minaya never gave a $100 million dollar contract to any player over the age of 29 – not Carlos Beltran and not Johan Santana.
Giving $150 million dollars to David Wright could go down as the most colossal financial blunder in team history. Not only that, but if years 4-7 of the deal end up being wasted – and there’s a good chance that they will – we won’t be out from under that deal until the year 2020. Now think about that for a moment…
But don’t worry David Wright fans… You have nothing to fear…
Because I believe Alderson will sign Wright this offseason…
Because I believe Alderson will succumb to the shouts and cries of the fans and give the people what they want…
Because I believe Alderson will offer Wright the same second generation contract he has always decried since he got here…
As I’ve been saying for a while now, the Mets have just two hitters that you can consider valuable trade chips right now – David Wright and Ike Davis.
I believe that Davis will be traded and that David Wright will indeed get that big fat extension. The problem here is that Alderson should be considering the exact opposite.
This offseason could end up being a disaster for the team and one that we’ll be regretting for a very long time. I pray that I’m wrong, but I have a bad feeling about this…