David Wright: Net Gain Zero


Among my fellow writers at Rising Apple, I believe Kevin Baez and myself stood alone in our desire to have David Wright traded.  But of course, I’m just speaking for myself.  Now that he has been signed, sealed, and secured for another eight years, it’s time for me personally, to reconcile the situation and put the matter to bed.

I am happy David Wright will be ending his career in a Mets uniform.  I have no problem with David Wright the player or person, and I am perfectly content he will continue playing for the Mets.  For his efforts on or off the field, I harbor no criticisms for our third baseman; none.  I’m agreeable with any and all reasons why fans find favor with him.  His is the only modern Mets jersey I own as my collection is purely retro.  I have been a tremendous fan of David since his 2004 season call up and I will continue being his fan until he retires from baseball.  I saw Ed Kranepool play.  So I know how special it would be if David ends his career in Flushing.  Lastly, in every endeavour pressed upon him by this beleaguered organization, he has served the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club with class.  In that respect, he has never failed.

Oct 1, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

But where it concerns the team and the best way to make the Mets successful again, I believe trading him could have served the club better.  I feel the Mets should still be trying to accumulate young talent.  David Wright and R.A. Dickey were ways to achieve that while Jose Reyes was an opportunity lost.  With Wright and R.A. Dickey, the Mets still suffer the same shortcomings they had last season and the year before.  In other words – net gain zero.  Additionally, Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta can not stock the farm system fast enough and graduate players in time to fill those needs.  To a large degree the upper levels of the Mets farm system still lack talent.  So for me, trading Wright was always contingent on a high return. Potential prospects involved in any deal no doubt needed to be enticing enough to even instigate such a controversial move.  How else could the front office justify shipping off their so-called franchise player?  Then the money they committed to Wright could have been utilized replacing his production, or spreading the money around and securing talent for the outfield, the bullpen, behind the plate, or elsewhere for that matter.

Perhaps a trade is still Sandy Alderson’s strategy for R.A. Dickey.  Then again, maybe not.  The winter meetings might clarify his situation.  What has been quite evident so far is that Sandy Alderson has been in no rush to sign him although there has been progress towards that end.  But with the Mets, the issue ultimately comes back to money, doesn’t it?  Now that David Wright has his, and Dickey might still get his share, is it fair to ask if the Mets have any more?  I think we can all generally answer that.  The Wilpon’s have only marginally improved their situation.  Within the span of one year, they managed to improve upon a bleak outlook, to just painting a conflicting picture heading into the 2013 season.

How then do the Mets address the same continuing needs?  The consensus says they will do it cheaply.  And I feel based purely on where the Mets were, where they are now, and where they are headed, paying David Wright then plugging holes on the cheap is pure folly.  So on that note, I hope the Mets have a better plan because something about this doesn’t sit well with me.

Similar to the Mets not trading Jose Reyes, I am also inclined to ponder whether the Mets signed David Wright for the wrong reason. The Mets need a seven/eight year contract like they need a hole in the head.  I think even David’s staunchest supporter questions his potential return in years six, seven, and eight.  But like I prefaced myself earlier, this is not about David Wright for me.

Sandy Alderson all but admitted the Met did not trade Reyes in large part to protect Fred Wilpon’s gate.  Then, the manner in which Jose Reyes walked off the field to end the 2011 season, coupled with the emergence of Ruben Tejada effectively rendered Reyes’ departure a moot point.  The Mets financial situation was still far from settled as Madoff issues still dominated headlines, making Reyes somewhat irrelevant.  So in a sense, a severe backlash was averted.  Apathetically is the way I would describe his departure from Flushing.

But what if the Mets would have traded David Wright?  And what of the potential backlash?  Would the greater fan base have staged a complete revolt?  My guess is the backlash would have been quite substantial this time.  When you consider that drawing “only” 2.2 million last season was devastating upon Mr. Wilpon’s voodoo economics, I wonder if the owner didn’t insist on extending David Wright for non baseball related reasons himself.  And I say that because Sandy Alderson strikes me as a baseball executive who would actually make the trade.  However, the Mets GM played protectionist before as evidenced by his handling of Reyes.  In any event, I do not think ownership was prepared for the consequences – not after a season in which David Wright became the Mets all-time Mr. Everything.