David Wright: Why Should He Sign with the New York Mets?
According to Fox Sports, "The team is quietly preparing to offer third baseman David Wright a long-term contract extension at some point later this year—perhaps as soon as this summer—according to a baseball official briefed on the Mets' thinking."
While this might be a good move for the team as they move on from losing Jose Reyes this past offseason, is it the best move for Wright?
ESPN New York's Adam Rubin shared Wright's response:
"Honest to goodness, I haven't thought about it," Wright said. "I haven't talked to Sam or Seth or Keith about anything. That's something I've yet to think about or approach with anybody, because it hasn't been brought up. There's no answer to that because it hasn't been approached yet. I'd have to discuss that with Sam and Seth and come up with a plan first. But, like I said, there's nothing going on."
Perhaps he hasn't thought about it given he's in the zone right now, hitting above .400.
At the same time, he'd be foolish to not put some thought into his future in the coming weeks and months given how much is at stake for him professionally.
Let's face it, until the start of this season, no one could say for certain what Wright's fate was in a Mets uniform. With the Madoff case settled and ownership potentially on firmer footing because of it, the Mets might be able to move forward.
Earlier this week when it was announced that the Mets will be hosting the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, Mets owner Fred Wilpon responded to questions about Wright by the New York Daily News' Christian Red, stating, "I think he’s playing like a superstar now."
Wilpon went on to say, "I love David Wright. He’s one of the great people, not only in baseball, but a great young man. So of course we want him. If I had another daughter, I’d love it if she married a David Wright."
However in terms of next steps, Wilpon shifted responsibility to GM Sandy Alderson.
"You really have to talk with Sandy," Wilson said. "He’s responsible for that. He sets the tone. We’re just following Sandy’s plan. So far, so good."
Either way, what a difference a year makes.
This time last year, Wilpon disrespected Wright in the now-infamous New Yorker article by calling him (via the NY Daily News), "A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar."
What exactly should Wright believe here?
Would you want to invest your future with an organization that one minute says one thing and then has to eat its words the next? If I'm Wright, I might want to ask Wilpon that question and perhaps a few others.
"Why not at least make an effort to sign Jose Reyes?"
"Will Sandy Alderson be given the green light to make a move at the trade deadline this year if the team is in the hunt for the division or wild card?"
"If I sign, what's the plan for the rest of the team next year and for the next five?"
While I'm sure that Wilpon and Sandy Alderson would have plausible answers to all of these questions, what guarantee can one be given they will follow through?
Honestly, I don't envy Wright. He's in a tough position and it's little wonder he hasn't given the situation much thought.
If he stays, he's saddled with the unenviable task of carrying a rebuilding team. So far he's done a great job this season, but for how long can he keep it up? It's unlikely he will be hitting .400 come September, when the team will need him to pull them along if they're in the hunt for the postseason. Even if he can sustain MVP-caliber numbers this year, can he continue to do it in the years to come?
If he leaves, he's the face of the franchise who let everyone down. While it wasn't a huge shock that Jose Reyes left during free agency this year, it would be a truly crushing blow to the organization and fanbase if Wright were to leave if presented a fair-market deal.
When the time comes, if I'm Wright, I'm going to have to think long and hard about all of these points. Currently he's on pace to have a big year and that should boost his value considerably. If given the chance, there will be teams interested in his services.
Ultimately, I believe Wright will do the honorable thing and stay, but he'd be foolish not to consider his options before signing, and perhaps he should make Fred Wilpon sweat just a little.
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