David Wright: Extend, Trade, or Wait?

A few weeks ago, David Wright told Jon Heyman that he was “extremely optimistic” about the chances of reaching a long term contract extension with the Mets, and said all the right things about loyalty, about the franchise heading in the right direction, and about idolizing Cal Ripken because he stayed with one team for his entire career. Generally, when you have a 29-year-old posting a +6.7 WAR season who is openly talking about wanting to finish his career with your franchise, you’d be rushing to the table to get him locked up. And a few months ago, that looked like the easy call, as Wright was re-establishing himself as one of the league’s best players.

However, something funny has happened on the way to Wright and the Mets agreeing to a new contract that would keep him in Queens for the remainder of his career – for the last few months, David Wright has been pretty bad.

Wright’s season numbers still look great, but almost all of his season value was accumulated in the first half of the year. Here’s Wright’s splits by month in 2012:

Month AVG OBP SLG wRC+ WAR
Mar/Apr 0.389 0.494 0.569 177 1.4
May 0.347 0.439 0.561 172 1.7
Jun 0.340 0.426 0.563 162 1.7
Jul 0.255 0.333 0.520 131 1.1
Aug 0.272 0.361 0.359 88 0.6
Sept/Oct 0.282 0.317 0.308 82 0.2

Wright was an offensive monster early in the season, but his bat has trended downwards all season, and lately, he’s been hitting more like a slick-fielding shortstop than any kind of slugging clean-up hitter. Perhaps more troubling is that the slump is essentially due a complete reversal of his core skills, and isn’t just one of those BABIP-correction slumps that everyone goes through.

Month BB% K% ISO BABIP
Mar/Apr 18.0% 15.7% 0.181 0.446
May 14.0% 14.0% 0.214 0.400
Jun 13.1% 9.0% 0.223 0.344
Jul 9.9% 24.3% 0.265 0.277
Aug 12.6% 19.3% 0.087 0.338
Sept/Oct 4.9% 19.5% 0.026 0.355

His walk rate has gone down, his strikeout rate is way up, and his power has evaporated. And, unfortunately, the Mets have seen this version of David Wright before.

Split BB% K% ISO BABIP
2011 11.6% 21.7% 0.172 0.302
Last Three Months 10.3% 21.4% 0.151 0.316

Since July 1st, Wright has basically been the exact same hitter he was last year, which was the worst season of his career. His first few months showed that he still has the ability to be significantly better than that, but his inability to sustain those improved contact and power rates have to be somewhat worrisome. It was always unrealistic to expect him to keep running out a wRC+ of 170 like h he did in the first two months of the year, but simply showing some of these core skills over the rest of the season likely would have gone a long way to answering the “fluke or real decline” question that 2011 brought. Instead, Wright is on his way to finishing the season looking like the decent-but-not-great player player he was last year, and again reminding everyone why they haven’t already locked him up for the rest of his career .

In general, monthly splits and in-season trends aren’t as useful as simply looking at larger samples of data over a full season, and of course Wright’s full season data is very good. Every hitter goes through peaks and valleys, and the fact that Wright started hot and then cooled off isn’t necessarily more significant than if he had started slowly and caught fire at the end of the season. His first three months happened, and they can’t just be ignored.

However, Wright turns 30 a few days before Christmas, so any kind of long term contract is going to carry the Mets well into his decline years, and if they’re going to make that kind of commitment, they have to know that they’re going to get some real production in the short term to justify paying significant salaries when he’s in his mid-30s. And, based on his inconsistent production, it’s hard to know exactly what kind of hitter Wright is going to be going forward.

If we just go with a very basic baseline of the past three calendar years, Wright has hit .285/.366/.475, good for a 128 wRC+ and +12.6 WAR, or essentially +4 WAR per season. Other players with similar numbers over three full seasons include Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Jayson Werth, and Aramis Ramirez. Good numbers, but not quite elite with the bat, and while Wright will get credit for playing third base, he hasn’t always been very good over there, and his defensive contributions in his thirties probably won’t be all that valuable.

So, what does this kind of player cost to sign to an extension? Well, we know Zimmerman got 6/100 for his age 29-34 seasons, but he had two years left before he was eligible for free agency and was coming off a down season that included shoulder problems, neither of which is true in Wright’s case. Andre Ethier (123 wRC+ over last three calendar years) got 5/90 to forego free agency this summer, though as a right fielder, the bat isn’t quite as valuable as it is at third base. Wright should be able to do better than either, perhaps pointing to Matt Kemp‘s 8/160 extension as a better comparison for his career track record. Kemp, however, is two years younger than Wright and plays center field, and his monstrous 2011 season didn’t come with a second half tailspin, so that might be a little out of reach.

If we split the difference between Wright and Zimmerman, that would put an extension cost at around $130 million over seven years, covering Wright’s age 30-36 seasons. How good would Wright have to be to justify that kind of contract?

If we assume Wright is a true talent +4.5 win player who will age normally going forward, then $130 million over seven years requires a $5.3 million cost per win this winter with 10% annual inflation, which is probably not a crazy assumption given the influx of new television money the sport has seen in the last year. Of course, that’s market price for a free agent, which Wright is not, so extending
him is not the only option.

The Mets could simply exercise his $16 million option for 2013 and have a significantly underpaid asset for next year, gather more information about whether he’s more first half Wright or second half Wright, and then make the decision whether to sign him long term or not at some point next year. Or, if they’re convinced that his recent slump and his 2011 performance are indicative of what’s to come, they could pick up his option and trade him, taking advantage of a seller’s market in a year where the best free agent third baseman might be Jeff Keppinger.

There is merit to all three decisions. Given how good Wright has been overall in 2012 and the fact that monthly trends aren’t all that predictive, just locking him up now could be the right choice, and give the team a franchise player to re-build around. On the other hand, his recent performance and his 2011 did happen, and so telling Wright that they want to see a full, consistent season out of him before they commit to a long term might be the more prudent approach. After all, his price tag isn’t likely to rise dramatically over the next year, as he’s going to be hard pressed to top his 2012 season numbers, and he’ll be a 31-year-old hitting the market next winter if the Mets go with the wait-and-see approach. Is saving a potential $30-$40 million over seven years worth the risk of second half Wright being a legitimate red flag, putting another albatross on the books while the team is trying to start fresh?

Or, should the Mets just look at the Nationals, Braves, and Phillies and decide that contending in 2013 is still unlikely, and take advantage of the fact that Wright would become the marquee acquisition of the winter if they put him on the blocks, and attempt to land an impressive haul of young talent and rebuild around guys like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler instead?

I’m not sure there’s an obvious right answer here. A few months ago, extending Wright was a no-brainer, but his second half struggles have put his inconsistency back in the spotlight, and the reality is that the Mets don’t have to lock Wright up long term this winter. Given his wild swings in performance and their position in the standings, either waiting another year to make that decision or letting someone else decide to make that commitment — after surrendering some shiny prospects — might be in the team’s best interests.

Personally, I think I’d probably just exercise the option and gather more information, but I can see a case for any of the three options. What would you do if you were Sandy Alderson?




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


52 Responses to “David Wright: Extend, Trade, or Wait?”

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  1. Bryan Grosnick says:

    I vote for extend – with the caveat being that it was on “reasonable” financial terms … like the 7/$130M that Dave posits. It’s probably a slight overpay for his performance, but there are plenty of intangible benefits (for me, not the team), that I’d get from seeing David Wright play third base for the next seven years third base for the next three years, then first base for four years. Third base still seems to be kind of a hairy position, and I’m not sure what the Dodgers / Angels / Yankees would give up for Wright in a trade.

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  2. Steve says:

    Mets probably won’t contend next year. Wright is approaching 30 and probably won’t play up to his Jesus-like contract he’ll likely demand. His stats are trending downward just like virtually everyone else who plays past 30. Get rid of him, get young talent.

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    • Jason B says:

      How good was Jesus though? He posted a monstrous 9.2 CAR (conversions above replacement) that one year… but man, he REALLY tailed off in his early 30’s. Just too many DL stints for my liking. I mean, one day on the transactions page it’s “Jerusalem transfers J. Christ to 60-day DL (crucifixion)” and just a few weeks later it’s “Jerusalem has DFA’d J. Christ for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. He’s on God’s team now.”

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  3. Phantom Stranger says:

    I wouldn’t extend Wright if I was GM, but ownership might view the contract as a goodwill gesture towards the fans. He almost certainly will not be worth whatever contract he gets and will likely have to be moved to firstbase in a couple of years. But the game is awash in money and there are so few decent free agents available, he’d probably get $150 million plus on the open market.

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    • Hot Turd says:

      If Wright comes out of the gate hot next spring, it will really push up his AAV. In some ways similar to the Rangers and Josh Hamilton this season.

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  4. John Galt says:

    Full disclosure: I”m a Mets fan. If you’re David Wright why would you sign up to play long-term with the Mets? He can’t enjoy having no lineup protection so that he doesn’t see a pitch to hit after the All Star break every year. Or losing 90+ games. Or playing in front of empty seats… He should force his way out of town by making contract demands he knows the Mets can’t meet. They’ll either trade him or let him walk. And then he can sign a contract with his hometown Orioles who need 3B help. Or he can play 1B for the Nats. Either way, why not play for a winning franchise at this point in your career? His loyalty is appreciated but I’m not sure the Wilpons deserve it.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      Play for a winning franchise……like the orioles??? Jeez, they have one .500+ season in 15 years and now they’re winners?

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    • MC says:

      John your post makes no sense. You’re basically saying Wright should only sign with teams that have winning records during a contract year? Like I said that makes no sense at all. Why would Wright play 1B for the Nats if he’s a third baseman?

      Also what makes you think the Mets will lose 90 games any time in the near future? If they lock up Dickey they will have a rotation that looks like this: Dickey, Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, 5th starter. It’s pretty darn hard to lose 90 games with a staff like that, LOL. Have a little foresight. Full disclosure: I’m not even a Mets fan.

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      • Sean says:

        >Dickey, Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, 5th starter. It’s pretty darn hard to lose 90 games with a staff like that, LOL

        Seriously? Dickey is almost 40. Harvey and Wheeler are totally unproven. Niese is a solid starter. You don’t even have a name for the 5th slot. And you think that’s some sort of titanic rotation who can’t possibly lose 40 games? With two rookies and a unknown 5th starter.

        That’s the real LOL.

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      • Who? says:

        Knuckleballers can pitch well into their 40’s. Harvey has already shown the stuff and the results to profile at least as a #2 starter. Wheeler hasn’t proven anything at the major leagues yet but every scouting report points to a TOR starter. Gee if he comes back healthy is more than adequate for a #5 starter.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        Julio Teheran was scouted by some as “the next Felix Hernandez” that looks a LOT less likely. Knuckleballers do pitch into their 40s, but there is a small sample size of knuckleballers and an even smaller sample size of ones that pitched at TOR level effectiveness and an even smaller sample size of ones that did this into their 40s.

        Not sure why you’re so optimistic honestly.

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      • MC says:

        - Look at Dickey’s numbers. I don’t care if he’s 75 and walks with a cane, if he can put up those kinds of numbers, I want him in my rotation. I don’t care if he throws knucklers, palmballs, or lollipops either.
        – Harvey is legit. All you have to do is watch him pitch and you’ll see that he has explosive stuff and knows how to pitch.
        – I don’t see anything in Wheeler’s stuff or pitching ability to suggest he won’t be an excellent starter.

        Let’s keep in mind that this year the A’s have among the best rotations in baseball, and it is made up almost entirely of rookies. Just becase a pitcher isn’t “proven” doesn’t mean that he won’t add a lot of value at the major league level.

        And I wasn’t even mentioning Santana.

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      • Jason B says:

        “Just becase a pitcher isn’t “proven” doesn’t mean that he won’t add a lot of value at the major league level.”

        That’s true. But the error bars are *HUGE* around unproven pitching talent. You make it sound like a foregone conclusion that this staff will be awesome. (See comment: “It’s pretty darn hard to lose 90 games with a staff like that, LOL.”)

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      • MC says:

        Jason – last time I checked a staff doesn’t have to be “awesome” for a team to not lose 90 games. This year the Mets were without Gee, Santana, Wheeler, AND Harvey, instead employing a patchwork rotation and they STILL probably won’t lose 90 games.

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    • BlackOps says:

      The O’s and Nats are 3-5 hours away from his hometown and he grew up a Mets fan.

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  5. Dennis says:

    Is this the baseball version of Kill F— Marry?

    Anyway…. with the way the free agent market is panning out, you will not get the same value from him as you would if you extend him now. FAs are getting more and more expensive every year. Secondly, his “bad month” so far has been a 0.6. Extrapolated over a season, that’s 3.6 WAR, right? And that’s in a slump month. Just based on that low bar, you’re looking at a player worth around 17 million in the open market.

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  6. MC says:

    Interesting article HOWEVER I would disagree you with you in the following respects

    – Had Wright put up the same 2nd half as the first half –> TRADE
    – Now that Wright has declined somewhat, and thus his trade value is LOWER –> EXTEND.

    I am just not particularly comfortable with the idea of signing guys to contracts at the top of their respective market, i.e. at the end of a hot streak.

    If the Mets wanted to trade David Wright the time to do it was at the trade deadline, i.e. at peak value, or as close to it as possible. Now they have to suck in their gut, decide on their evaluation of Wright as a player, and extend or not extend.

    Personally I think if he’s cooled down and that enables the Mets to lock him in at a hometown discount like 5/$75 or 6/$90 I say jump on it, do it. A big market team can handle 1 or 2 bad contracts, and it won’t probably be all bad except under the most extreme circumstances (i.e. persistent injuries).

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    • rogue_actuary says:

      The odds of David Wright signing a contract for $75M over 5 years or $90M over 6 years are functionally zero.

      Wright has a BABIP over his career of .342, so his current .358 isn’t some strangely unsustainable outlier. His K and BB rates are basically the same from his glory days (16.5%-ish and 12.0%-ish, respectively).

      It seems a bit odd that he was a minus-10 run defender for three straigh seasons, and that now he could end up around +10. He’s not relying on a fluky HR/FB rate or some other anomaly to be productive.

      If he’s a 4-WAR to 5-WAR player, and assuming a) an annual decline of .5 WAR/year, b) 10% $/WAR inflation, and c) that 1 WAR currently sells for $5M, the total value of a 7-year deal would be between about $110M and $160M.

      They’re not going to be able to talk him in to a deal for 5/$75M or 6/$90M.

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      • MC says:

        Yeah well 7/110 seems OK to me.

        7/160 I think is nuts and fortunately he’s cooled off so it probably won’t come to that.

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      • MC says:

        Regardless what contract he gets though, my central point was that it’s best to trade a player at peak value, not after he’s cooled off (contrary to the author).

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      • vivalajeter says:

        MC, the problem is that it’s virtually impossible to know when ‘Peak Value’ exists. At the deadline this year, he only had 2 months left on his contract. If he kept up the pace and finished strong, he would have had more value this off-season because they’d be trading a full year of Wright, rather than 1/3 of a season. Unless they knew he would hit a wall, there’s no reason (at the time) that they should have known it was peak value for him.

        Also, it would have been a PR nightmare if they traded him in the middle of an MVP-like stretch. The way he was playing, why would they let him go?

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      • MC says:

        @vivalajeter – fair point, yeah, at the time Wright showed no signs of slowing down.

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    • Antonio Banans says:

      MC, you can’t use hindsight bias. Think about this too, let’s say he keeps declining, you let him go in free agency, you only get a comp pick (right? Not as familiar with the new rules). Essentially one amateur player. If you extent him, you trade possibly even lower value if he keeps slumping and get an even worse package.

      My general feeling is that there has to be someone out there optimistic enough to give up say a B+ AA or AAA player and two C+ R or A players.

      If you have a stock and it was at 70, and now it’s 50, and it’s going to be 30 tomorrow, you shouldn’t hang onto it simply because you didn’t capitalize on it when it was at its peak.

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      • MC says:

        You can’t ever know whether a stock will go to 30 tomorrow.

        Just like you can’t predict, exactly, or in some cases even approximately, a player’s future performance.

        But the Mets have to make a decision about what *they* think Wright is worth. They may be wrong, they may be right. They have to make that decision and then try to capitalize on it, either by trading for more than they believe his value to be in prospects, or by resigning him to a deal less than his value. If they can do neither, it makes sense to let him walk in 1 year.

        It’s absurd to think that if you give him another year to play that you will be in a substantially better position to project him over the next 7 years. What you will be doing however, is putting increased emphasis on the most recent, shortest time frame and putting yourself at the mercy of that, as other teams will probably be doing the same thing.

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  7. jim says:

    if wright gets out of new york and an opportunity to play somewhere else, will it finally remove the cloud of 7 up with 17 to play that he still lets hang around in his mind?

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    • Jason B says:

      “that he still lets hang around in his mind?”

      Any evidence of this whatsoever? No? OK, I didn’t think so, was just checking.

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  8. BurleighGrimes says:

    Wright’s terrible 2011 was badly marred by playing through a broken back, which he didn’t fully disclose for two months after the fact. The injury dragged down his numbers quite a bit. It seems possibe that his power decline in the second half could also have something to do with hidden injury. Not sure what that means about value, as injury history is certainly not a positive. Wright is, in general, tough to predict because his last few years have been all over the map both offensively and defensively.

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  9. BurleighGrimes says:

    A public relations fact that may or may not wind up mattering: Wright and RA Dickey both have extensions available for next year, and both have intimidated that if not extended this offseason, they’ll likely test free agency. Both have also intimated that they’ll be looking for how the other is treated for clues on whether or not the team feels it is moving towards contention. Is there a public relations component here where the Meta wouldn’t want to lose their three most popular players in the course of three years?

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  10. LG says:

    I think the “wait and see” option is probably the most unwise of the three. Sure there are some advantages in that you get to gather more data, and buy yourself some time/guard against something like locking him up and then having him have a major injury a month into the deal. But Wright’s been a Met for 8+ yrs…there is only so much more evaluating you need. For sure he’s had his peaks and valleys in recent yrs so that makes the evaluation process more difficult but the chances of any landmark thing happening next season that will drastically change your view on way or another isn’t enough to outweigh the negatives of waiting IMO. If anything, I think its the Mets who need to prove something to Wright (show that the team gives a damn about putting a competitive team together) not Wright who needs to prove his worth. The Mets telling Wright he’s not worthy of signing right now probably wouldn’t be a wise move.

    I think the worst possible outcome is the Mets allowing another Jose Reyes situation to occur…i.e., just losing the guy via FA. (I suppose one could say a “Jason Bay” scenario would be the worst possible outcome…i.e. signing him and having him play horribly, but I don’t think waiting until next yr really protects against that). And generally the closer a guy gets to FA, the more expensive he gets, so thats another downside on the Mets end.

    I think the Mets should try to sign him this offseason. And they’ll probably find out pretty quickly about the feasibility of it. If they are very far apart moneywise or if Wright flat out says he doesn’t want to commit, then I think they probably should trade him in the offseason. He’ll likely have more value then (when the receiving team has him for a full year) than he will during the middle of the year. And then to a lesser extent you have to factor in the circus atmosphere him being unsigned will create. Not quite as important as some of the other issues, but this is NY. Wright’s contract has already been a big topic of conversation this year, even from the start of the year when he was still 2 full seasons away from actually being a FA…that stuff is just going to intensify big time if he goes into next yr unsigned and I think that is something the Mets and especially Wright want to avoid.

    But maybe both sides really are content with evaluating each other one more time and waiting things out….maybe Wright wants to see more of the team taking shape and maybe the Mets want to see more of Wright and both sides will be content to just play out next year, but that seems like that is probably the most risky of moves in terms of raising your chances at losing him and not getting much in return.

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  11. nitro2831 says:

    As a Mets fan, I cannot even begin to tell you the fan revolt that would ensue if the Mets let both Jose Reyes and David Wright leave. There are things that can make a fanbase quit on the team, and the Mets are very near there already. If they trade Wright, it’s almost assured that they would lose significant revenue. Their attendance would continue to drop and overall interest in the brand would fall as fans would leave en masse. I know there has been a good deal written about how star players don’t increase attendance, but in this specific case, based on the already tenuous relationship between fans and ownership, I think letting a star player leave would hurt attendance.This must be a consideration when looking at the financials, not just the on field ability.

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    • Antonio Banans says:

      How many fans leave if they overpay and he ages poorly? I’m sure if they get a guy that ends up a good MLB position player and two shutdown relievers, it would go a long way. That’s the kind of package I can see.

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  12. amj22ky says:

    I agree with what LG said “If anything, I think its the Mets who need to prove something to Wright (show that the team gives a damn about putting a competitive team together) not Wright who needs to prove his worth. The Mets telling Wright he’s not worthy of signing right now probably wouldn’t be a wise move.” David has played his heart out for this team and has made it known that he loves playing for this team and wants to make them better but he can’t do it by himself. He puts the weight of every game on his shoulders and feels as if he needed to win each game for them. All players are going to have ups and downs. He won’t be the first to have a low period and he won’t be the last to have one. I think they need to resign him to a multiyear deal and that would take the anxiety away so he can concentrate on his job.

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  13. RJ says:

    I am a met fan and David Wright has been y favorite player for years. However as the Meta current roster stands it is time to have a firewall and start a new and that begins with trading Wright and Dickey. The Mets farm system as it stands right now is mediocre at best and these potential trades would e able to bring in some prospects with some serious potential. And with the Nationals and the Braves having the young talent they have, the Mets window for an NL East title probably isn’t for another 4 years. As much as I love David, its the best move to trade him and get some talent and stop these years of mediocrity

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    • Who? says:

      That’s rather extreme. You don’t have to win the division to get into the playoff. The Mets only have $13M in committed contracts in 2014, which by then would give them plenty of flexibility to sign or trade for impact players even if they resign Wright and Dickey to reasonable deals. If you trade Wright it would be because you think his best years are behind him and that Wilmer Flores will be a productive big league player, not because the Mets have no chance to contend. They have a plethora of quality arms in their system to fill their rotation and bullpen. They need to revamp their outfield and catching to be a 90+ win team.

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    • Stinky says:

      yeah and the Indians are still trying to recover from their failed trades for Sabathia and Cliff Lee… trading for prospects is just as risky as extending Wright for another 7 yrs.

      I don’t think Wright is about getting every single dollar that he can out of the Mets. I think he wants to stay a Met and get a deal where he’ll feel respected. I think that will end up near the 7/130 (which would fold in his ’13 option year) that was mentioned. Naturally the Mets will try and shave that back a yr or make it 6 plus and option but that’s about where it’ll prob go.

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  14. snoop LION says:

    have to agree with RJ, looking at the strength of the Mets currently and the strength of division rivals, now is the time to trade Wright. All that conjecture about him getting traded prior to this was absolutely ridiculous due to his 2014 option becoming a player option if traded.

    The purpose of forking out a big extension is to get the most value from the front end of the contract, but in the Mets case, they won’t be competing for a couple more seasons yet, so why bother having to pay for Wright’s decline without having benefited from having paid for his years in his early 30’s

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    • Greg says:

      I disagree with the notion that the Mets should do anything besides extend Wright. The main prospects the Mets have, Wheeler and Harvey, are both going to be fixtures in the rotation by June of next season (Harvey is already one). A rotation involving Dickey, Jon Niese, Harvey, Wheeler, and Dillon Gee should be solid. Plus, any payroll flexibility problems will disappear after the 2013 season when the massive contracts of Bay and Santana are finished. Scoring runs has been a huge issue for the Mets this season, and getting rid of David Wright does absolutely nothing to fix that problem.

      I’d be curious to see what the people saying “trade Wright” think the Mets will get in return for him. It just seems like there isn’t another team that would be a good fit in a David Wright trade.

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      • Antonio Banans says:

        Three way trades too. Wright to the Dodgers, then someone from the Dodgers to another team, Mets get a B+ position prospect and two high ceiling C+ pitching prospects.

        Too lazy and tired to look up who that possible other team could be.

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      • Who? says:

        The Dodgers have no position prospects to offer the Mets. If he’s traded it’s won’t be to the Dodgers.

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      • Antonio Bananas says:

        That’s why I said a three way trade. That way the Dodgers can get Wright and the Mets can get prospects. Dodgers trade from a position of depth like pitching and that player (say, Capuano or something) goes to the team that will be giving up the prospects.

        Let’s just say this, Wright to the Dodgers, Capuano and Chad Billingsly to the Indians, Francisco Lindor and Elvis Araujo to the Mets.

        I realize that the Indians might not give up Lindor and Araujo for Capuano and Billingsly but you get the idea. You can’t think in a two team box.

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  15. PadresFuture says:

    All this over a bad month and a half? Its baseball, slumps happen.

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    • TheUncool says:

      You clearly did not read the article. IF it was merely just a month-and-half slump, then of course not. But he wasn’t quite that good last year either nor was he quite that great the 2 years prior to that as well. IF one must lock him up now, then it’s probably a safe enough bet to judge him as a 4-to-4.5-WAR player for the near future (w/ some anticipated decline going forward). Afterall, that’s roughly what he’s been averaging for these last 4 years now (and also looking like after the hot 1st half this year).

      One certainly shouldn’t bet too much on him being much more than that w/ a long extension.

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      • caseyB says:

        If one believes that the old dimensions of Citi Field had a negative impact on Wright’s offense, then one can assume that his rebound this year — to a very healthy 7.3 WAR — is in good part a result of the new hitter-friendlier dimensions. Therefore, one can expect a near-term WAR closer to this year than the previous 3 years.

        Regardless, what’s so bad about a 4.0-4.5 WAR? Have you looked at what Ryan Howard and A-Rod have been averaging the last 3 years? Suffice it to say the Phillies and Yankees would be thrilled to get a 4.0-4.5 WAR out of those two in the next few years.

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  16. PrinceOfBeers says:

    The Dodgers are in need of a new third baseman, David. Just get the hell out of Queens.

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  17. George says:

    As a Mets fan, I hope Wright stays. Can you imagine who will play third if he leaves? Lutz? Murphy? Turner?

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  18. TheUncool says:

    Unless there’s clear indication that Wright will be so unhappy as to seriously impact his 2013 production and/or likelihood of resigning, I’d think exercising the option and go w/ the wait-and-see approach would be best here, including whether to listen to potential trade offers.

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  19. rEc says:

    Tough call because the situation in the division is not clear at all.

    You could see some scenarios where teams like ATL and PHI could maybe have bad years in the near future, and obviously the situation in Miami looks quite a bit different now than it did coming into 2012.

    I’d probably trade him, maybe for an a veteran OF bat and just stick Murphy at 3B. Maybe a guy like Jason Kubel + a prospect of some kind.

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  20. Buck says:

    I have watched the Mets off and on and Wright seems to really struggle with hard stuff. I don’t know if the stats back that up. But just yesterday I caught two pitchers for the Brewers eat Wright up with 94 mph fastballs. It was a mismatch.

    He is reminding me of Scott Rolen. The old Scott Rolen

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  21. caseyB says:

    I’m late to the discussion, but if I were the Mets you do everything possible to extend Wright this winter at reasonable market rates. You offer him at the very least Ryan Zimmerman money, and since Wright has been more valuable than Zimmerman over his career, you offer him even a little more.

    Wright has more value to the Mets franchise than he would for any other team as he’s extremely popular with most of the fan base. The Mets as a big market team should be able to afford Wright in the later years of any extension, even if they end up overpaying for him quite a bit. If they can’t afford to do this with Wright, then shame on them. They will just lose even more support and attendance from the fans from 2013 onward. Right now Wright is still the most valuable bat and position player on the Mets team, and if you take him away, then the team will surely sink deeper into the muck for the next few years. Along with attendance and revenues. They can';t afford to let him go.

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