Mets: Top spine specialist says a return to baseball is in Wright’s future

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: David Wright
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: David Wright /

The Mets’ captain underwent his third surgery over the last two years, but this time around the long term prognosis sounds better

It’s been one of the hottest questions surrounding the Mets over the last couple of years. Is David Wright done? According to orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Andrew Hecht there is a new wave of optimism that Wright has a better chance of returning to the field after undergoing a laminotomy.

This offseason, Wright will turn 35 so there would be natural questions anyway of how much he has left. However, this latest bit of news is encouraging and could have a ripple effect on the Mets’ off-season plans. Most notably, if this prognosis holds true and Wright returns next season, how will that factor into 2018?

Wright was unable to step onto a Major League field this season. He’s only played 75 games in the last three years and has undergone three surgeries during that span. Wright still has three years and $47 million guaranteed remaining on his contract.  He is owed $20 million in 2018.

Let’s operate under the assumption that Wright will be back for 2018. What does that possibly mean for the infield? Flash back to before 2017 and the reports indicating Wright would be open to switching to first base. Dominic Smith got a near two-month audition in New York and showed the power, but had trouble producing consistently. Depending on how spring training plays out, it could help determine if the Mets feel Smith is or isn’t ready to take the job on an everyday basis.

Another part of the equation is Asdrubal Cabrera. More signs are pointing to the Mets will pick up his $8.5 million option. Now with Wright potentially back in the mix, I believe it doesn’t change if the Mets keep Cabrera. On a more obvious level though, it most likely pushes Cabrera into more of a utility role while sharing time at third with Wright and at second with Wilmer Flores and TJ Rivera upon their respective returns from injury.

If Wright is able to return then it possibly shifts the focus in free agency away from third base options, something the Mets could have potentially explored.

Next: Mets are open to a deal with Joe Girardi

It’s at least encouraging that one of the first bits of 2018 related news sounds good. I think the term that fits here is cautious optimism. It would be great to see the captain back on the field, and everything stated by Dr. Hecht sounds encouraging. At the same time, recent history dictates a certain level of concern.