Martino: Expect Wright to Remain a Met, For Now

In a post to the Daily News, Andy Martino spoke with executives around MLB and according to one NL executive briefed on the teams thinking, there is a strong possibility the Mets could become more aggressive about shopping [David] Wright if the club struggles to start 2012.

According to Martino:

Photo by Michael G. Baron

The Mets are reluctant to move Wright this winter for several reasons, with Citi Field’s new dimensions high among them. Since the Queens Canyon opened in 2009, Wright has hit 10, 29 and 14 home runs each season, respectively (his 2011 total was reduced by a two-month injury absence).

Now that the fences are lower and closer to home plate, Wright has a chance to elevate that homer total well into the 30s. Although Mets officials say publicly that the alterations were not conceived with any particular player in mind, one Citi Field insider said there has been a lot of discussion about how the changes will help Wright specifically.

They could also help his trade value. If Wright is raking on a bad Mets team next June, he might be wearing another uniform by August.”

If the Mets are to trade Wright — even though I hope they don’t — I do agree that this would be the best way to go about it. I see no reason in dealing him now — coming off a down season — when his value could –although I don’t believe it is — be at a low point. In 712 at-bats in Citi Field, Wright has just 22 home runs while batting .279 with a .827 OPS.

In looking at Wright’s contract, however, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York brought up a good point in terms of how teams may in fact view Wright’s value around next season’s all-star break :

Not disputing report, but why would it make sense to trade David Wright in July '12?...He could opt out at end of season and be free agent.
@AdamRubinESPN
Adam Rubin
If you intend to trade him at '12 deadline, do it at '13 trade deadline instead. That way you get extra year & new team has same half season
@AdamRubinESPN
Adam Rubin
It would only make sense to trade Wright at '12 deadline if package was overwhelming or he'd agree to extension or waive opt-out.
@AdamRubinESPN
Adam Rubin

Rubin’s point is well taken when you consider that Wright, who will make $15 million in 2012, can opt out of his contract and leave the $16 million due to him in 2013 on the table IF he’s traded. If he remains with the Mets then that option is a club option with a $1 million buyout. With that in mind, it certainly seems likely that teams would be more aggressive in their pursuit of the 5-time all-star only if they could be assured that an extension would be reached, as Rubin pointed out.

In any case, unless Alderson gets “bowled over” as one NL executive suggested to Martino, I would have to think that it’s safe to assume Wright will be on the 2012 New York Mets opening day roster. Beyond that is still anyone’s guess. I definitely recommend reading the post “Making Sense of the DWright Drama” on The Real Dirty Mets blog for another great take on the situation.

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