I think we all know that if wright hits 30 home runs this year and the next, which he is more than capable of doing, he will have a serious shot at $160 million in free agency. The mets won’t be able to sign him for less than zimmerman, though they maybe could have this offseason.
I think the biggest question is: Are the Mets willing to pay him?
They probably should simply because they don’t have many good bats on the farm and third base is a nototiously scarce position that is difficult to fill.
Comment by Matt Mosher — April 24, 2012 @ 10:09 am
And we all know that because, … Wright hasn’t hit 30 home runs since 2008?
Jose Bautista was coming off of a season in which he hit 54 home runs and posted an fWAR of 6.8. That season was an anomaly for him, but it was his age-29 season. And he signed for $65M over 5 years.
$160M is absolute crazy-talk. I don’t have anything against Wright, but his “good” 2010 season was only 4.0 WAR. Any team signing him right now is signing a 29-year old who isn’t the hitter or defender he was when he was 24.
His wOBAs from 2004 – 2011: .367, .393, .385, .420. .397, .368, .364, .342.
I hope he’s having himself a nice little career resurgence, but the idea that he’s going to work himself back up to being worth $20M/year for more than, say, five or six years, is extremely optimistic.
From 2009 – 2011, the only 3B to “top” Wright’s negative-31.1 fielding runs is Mark Reynolds (-37.8).
Any team signing Wright to big, long-term deal would be pretty crazy unless he puts together a 3- or 4-month stretch where he demonstrates more power and/or better defense. And BABIPing .421 doesn’t count.
Comment by rogue_actuary — April 24, 2012 @ 10:16 am
Mets fans can look forward to David Wright Day when he comes back as a member of the Dodgers.
“Provided that Wright is able to rebound…”
That’s a gigantic, mountainous “if” that calls the rest of the column into question. Isn’t this “if” the central question surrounding David Wright? Is it even relevant to consider what he did five or six years ago while ignoring his recent history? Perhaps future projections would be in order here.
Comment by Matt Mosher — April 24, 2012 @ 10:57 am
The difference between Wright and Zimmerman through age 26 isn’t that big when you take into account PA’s. Assume the same “WAR/PA rate” and Zimmerman comes in at roughly 28.8, so two wins rather than six. Remember, Zimmerman is a much better defender than Wright. Plus, Wright’s defense has been quite bad since 2008 and isn’t showing signs of a rebound. We know defense ages faster than hitting, so in all likelihood he’s a below-average defender at best going forward.
The biggest thing going for him is the relative lack of offensive talent at the hot corner right now. The early signs are that he’s healthy and fixed some of the approach/swing problems of the past few seasons, so if he gets back to form offensively he should be in line for a pretty good pay day.
Zimmerman took a hometown discount, too. Wright has no reason to follow suit considering the Mets don’t appear to be a team on the rise and he’s not from the area.
On the other hand, the Mets would be crazy to sign a guy to a huge deal almost 2 years from free agency (when he’ll be 30) after 2 years of decline. $100 million seems insane. Say he does well the next two years, but not age 24-26 David Wright. How much would he get as a 4-5 WAR 30-year-old third baseman? I’d say 6/120 tops. There’s no upside for the Mets making this deal now. On the other hand, Wright won’t sign for less than Zim. So either the Mets make a mistake or this doesn’t happen this year.
Bautista is a very poor comp. Not only was did his level of play increase dramatically out of nowhere as you alluded to, he was still under team control due to a lack of service time. That said $160 mil is crazy. I could see someone like the Dodgers offering something like 6 for $120 M.
Zach Lutz is one of their best bats in the farm and he plays 3B. Was just called up today/yesterday in fact. While it’s doubtful he could replace Wright’s production (and his health is a concern), the point you raise isn’t that much of a concern for the Mets. They could even slide Daniel Murphy over to 3B, that’s where he’s best suited.
Ramirez would be an even better comp for Wright if the Mets had been forced to trade him in a salary dump when they started to have debt problems, the same way MLB forced the Pirates to trade Ramirez in 2003:
I wasn’t really looking for a fantastic comp as much as the fact that hitting 30 home runs doesn’t guarantee a big contract. After hitting 54 HRs with (also) not great defense, Bautista’s power floor seemed established at something like 30-35 HRs.
Comment by rogue_actuary — April 24, 2012 @ 2:55 pm
Wright’s numbers fail to take into account the taint associated with his team’s end of seasonal failures. The Mets are Wright’s team and they have been involved in historic collapses. He is not worth 100 million especially if the Mets deemed Reyes was not worth that money. Reyes is a more talented player coming off a better hitting and fielding year and Reyes plays a more important position.
David Wright has a positive UZR so far this season. He said last year that his defense has slipped while he’s put on extra muscle mass to compensate for the larger dimensions of Citi Field. He has since lost said muscle mass with the more reasonable dimensions.
If the Mets are smart, they trade him. They moved the fences in so his power numbers should be bigger than in previous years. Trade him to a despirate team at the deadline, get an A grade prospect and 2 raw guys.
Comment by Antonio Bananas — April 24, 2012 @ 4:55 pm
The problem with signing Wright is the same as with Pujols, although not nearly as complicated. You first have to figure out which Wright you’re getting before you overpay for either one.
When Pujols signed, they assumed 2011 was an aberration, and therefore his contract was only an overpay of maybe $75M. If Pujols is truly more like 2011, then it is probably an overpay of $125M. Since 2009, Wright’s OPS is .833. At that level, a better comp, in an odd sort of way, might be Youkilis.
Personally, I think Beltre is a better all-around 3B, and a better athlete, and I think he was an overpay as well.
ironically, something like the bay contract may be a good idea for the mets to give wright. i don’t think he would get much more that than in FA, because he’s more important to the mets than he is to anyone else.
of course, someone gave a $200 million contract to prince fielder, so who the hell knows.
Wright will surpass $100M easily if he puts up a healthy decent year this year.
He’s a great producer at a scarce position, with no off-field issues, who is charismatic and tough.
The question isn’t what he’s worth — it’s what the party who wants him most is willing to pay him.
People are constantly surprised, over and over again, at the size of free agent deals. It’s time to stop being surprised. Someone will overpay Wright, and it’ll probably be 6/120. He won’t earn it, but he’ll get it. Some things are not that academic.
Referencing the collapses is pretty silly. Wright performed great down the stretch those seasons. If you want to talk Reyes…he was the one who was brutal down the stretch both years. But that in itself would be a pretty silly reason to let him go.
As for the Reyes/Wright comparisons in terms of performance..Reyes does play the more premium position, but last year was the only year he was significantly better than Wright.
It will be interesting to see what Wright does in the remodeled Citi. The fact that they didn’t sign Reyes shouldn’t in any way lead them not to sign Reyes. The money situation is also a bit better now than it was a year ago so it should be easier to sign Wright.
Bingo! Just last year we were debating how much Reyes would get, and he had similar knocks against him (poor 2010, declining defense, injury concerns) and the early season predictions criminally undervalued him (couldn’t find the exact chat, but IIRC someone here had him at 5/75 max).
For those questioning his comeback this year (early as it is), I think it’s worth noting that Wright’s career BABIP is .341. Last year it was .302. It’s way more likely that his BABIP this year will be closer to his career average than 2011.
But the real question is if David Wright is worth $100 million, how much is Peter Bourjos worth?