David Wright: Mr. Wilpon Should Already Know If He Is Committed Long Term
Know this now before reading on – this is not a request on my part to trade David Wright. So please, by all means continue.
The Mets hold a $16 million dollar option on David Wright for next season. So there is not a dire need to expedite a new contract right now. Additionally, in early June, David Wright made it clear he would not discuss a new pact during the season. Since then, David’s price has been up-ticking due to the MVP-type year he is having. Thing is, whether the Mets hold the option on David Wright for next season or not, in a pure business sense, the Wilpons should already know if they want to commit to their third baseman long term. So the real question is an open one – do they? Do they want to commit, and or, can they? The Mets already have to compare and contend with the contract Washington gave Ryan Zimmerman as an unsettling starting point.
The Madoff Matter seems long behind Fred Wilpon and the club now. Although ownership escaped financial ruin, there is still the matter of cutting a handsome check; albeit for a substantially lowered dollar amount; towards the Madoff recovery effort as ordered by a judge back in March of this year. In spite of that sum, which they do not have to pay right away, and other financial concerns the club still must deal with, right up until about a week and a half ago, Sandy Alderson repeatedly insisted there was money in the budget to expand payroll if the Mets should make a trade at the deadline. When have we heard that before? But if you’ve been listening to Sandy Alderson since the start of this post All-Star break tailspin, then through it’s duration, you’ve heard a changing tact. From pronouncing to be buyers, now, players (or trade chips) like Scott Hairston and select others, will be kept for the sake of fielding a product the fans can continue to watch for the rest of the season. I strongly urge fans to read between the lines on that one. Sandy’s meaning couldn’t have been more clear. But I am still forced to ask – Really? Is that what we’re doing here? Because please(!), don’t hold on to them on our account. The fans expect you to be better than that.
We are now inside the final 48-hour window before the deadline passes. And what have the Mets done? Except for in-house moves, they have done nothing. Very conveniently, they haven’t had to because the bottom fell out from under them. That’s just a fact, not a criticism. That comes later. Truth is, the Mets are no longer in a position to warrant a trade outside of improving the bullpen, which they must do anyway. So like David Wright’s contract situation, there is no great urgency to get anything done right now.
If you’re a reader of mine, you know I consider the Mets to be nothing other than a rebuilding team, which is good. It’s what I wanted. Now here’s where I will take things a step further for you, and not for me per se, for I’ve been fixed all along. I still feel the Mets never went far enough towards deconstructing this team. Obviously, there was virtually nothing the Mets could do in the way of parting ways with Johan Santana and Jason Bay. Those two player’s issues were and still are too prohibitive to deal. So by process of elimination, yes, I am talking about Jose Reyes and David Wright.
Before going forward with what I want to say, I beg you, please, spare me the “hindsight is twenty/twenty” routine. I maintain a blog site as proof that I’ve been calling for both Jose Reyes and Davis Wright to have been traded years ago. I stand by it to this very day. So, I guess you now know where this is going. I would have most certainly traded Jose Reyes at the deadline last season. I personally did not want the Mets committing long term to Jose Reyes. Being firm in my belief, as a GM, I would have acted on it. Instead the Mets chose to string the fans along by retaining him for the sake of filling seats, then feigning real interest in resigning him, when in the end, the Mets never made Jose Reyes an official offer. In the process, the former shortstop walked away leaving the Mets with nothing more than a supplemental draft.
The Jose Reyes episode is long passed now. But the question now begs to be asked again – have the Wilpons; has this ownership; already rendered a verdict as to David Wright’s future with the Mets? Because the Mets hold the option on David Wright, an acquiring team will not exactly be receiving a two month rental. A comment (updated this afternoon) left by JJ corrected me on that point. But, what I say still stands. If the Wilpons have already decided they will not seek to retain David Wright beyond 2013, then they had better trade him now! Forget that at this point, trading him would be P.R. suicide for Mr. Wilpon. Instead, I just want to be very clear about something. I refuse to be duped again!
When I write about the Mets, I’m usually trying to play it straight, and not necessarily trying to push my agenda on you, the reader. That said, yes, I would have traded him years ago along with Reyes. I’ve been wanting this organization to undergo a rebuilding process since the previous decade. But after the season Wright has had so far, and the way he has led this team, and embraced the youngsters, I’ve eased off my stance a bit, and have elevated myself to being ambivalent with regards to retaining him. Challenge me as you wish about my views. They require a much different conversation than this current article to explain. And maybe I’ll write about this soon so you can debate me. But for now, the only point I am trying to stress centers around the team’s ownership and their willingness, or ability, or both, to sign David Wright.
The way the Mets handled Jose Reyes’ last season was a step short of deceptive advertising. So it bares repeating – I won’t be duped again. If Mr. Wilpon knows at this very moment that he will not be authorizing the signing of David Wright to a new contract, the greatest third baseman the Mets ever had better be gone no later than midnight Tuesday. Do not render David Wright down to your typical short term rental by waiting till next season to deal him. That’s of course, if there is no commitment from the team in the off-season. Thing is, David Wright has the right to void the option on his own, pending a trade this season. So there’s your food for thought. But like I said, Mr. Wilpon should already know in his mind what he’s going to do. If a new deal is not in the cards, do it; trade him. Do it by Tuesday night. Just do not try and sell me another bag of tricks!
As a matter of fact, do not hold on to anyone for the sake of selling a ticket. That ruse won’t work again. Instead, rid the club of anyone, and everyone, who will help the Mets realize an appreciable return and who can positively affect the team’s future success. And I’ll tell you why. As the trade deadline draws even closer, there is a major backlash brewing. Because this whole situation is starting to wreak of money woes again. The Mets are running the same ploy they ran on us last season, and to a lesser extent, the year before. It would be folly on the organization’s part if in fact they are not being truthful, and up front with us…again. It has been noted by the writers of Rising Apple before. The Mets are saying one thing, but acting, behaving, and doing another.
* Updated 5:41pm 7/30/12