With Jose Reyes gone and the team in all out rebuilding mode, there has been much speculation (here from Joel Sherman of The New York Post, for example) that the New York Mets will trade third baseman David Wright.
The Mets would not be wise to do so, however.
Wright is the longest tenured Met, as this will be his ninth season with the team. He will also be a veteran on a team with a fairly young lineup. He will surely help the young guys, such as Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda, get used to the daily grind of the season.
For a few years, Wright has taken an unofficial role as the team's captain. He works hard and is never a problem in the clubhouse. Every team needs a leader like this, and the Mets would have no one to assume this role in the event of Wright's departure.
Aside from the veteran leadership role, Wright also has proven to be a very productive player over the years. He has a career batting average of .300 and is a five-time All-Star.
Had he not have gotten injured last season, Wright could have helped the Mets' offense. He is just two years removed from batting .283 with 29 home runs and 103 runs batted in.
Many believe that Wright pressures himself too much to be the star, and use his rising strikeout total from year to year as evidence. He does seem to pressure himself, but this is because he has to be the one to shoulder the load and drive in runs for the team. By pressuring himself, he swings at more pitches, which would explain his increasing strikeout total.
Hopefully young guys will step up and help lessen the load for Wright. Young sluggers like Lucas Duda and Ike Davis will have to take this role this season.
Trading Wright would not help the Mets much. Although they are trying to get younger, it is hard for a team to be successful without a leader. Wright also can produce at an All-Star level that can help this team. It would be hard for the Mets to find a prospect that has the potential Wright has if they trade him.
Wright has the tools to be great. He can hit for average and power, field and run. He just needs to relax and play the game.