In the midst of a fourth straight losing season, the New York Mets have two stories developing as the end of the 2012 regular season quickly approaches.
The first story is R.A. Dickey's march toward the National League Cy Young award. The second story is David Wright's contract situation.
Wright has been firm on his stance to not to even begin negotiating until after the season.
As Jon Heyman reports, Wright does not want to talk about a contract during next season either but is "extremely optimistic" that a deal will get done.
Although the Mets hold a $16 million option on Wright for 2013, the story gets interesting if the Mets do not lock him up long-term this winter.
Heyman makes a lot of valid points as to why the Mets should sign Wright long-term, and it is difficult to argue against that stance. Hopefully a deal gets done and Wright stays in a Mets uniform.
As many know though, anything can happen because this is the New York Mets that we are talking about.
Envisioning David Wright as anything but a Met is difficult, but if his option is the only thing picked up, it may be time to think of his other possible landing spots, as teams will be calling for his services next season.
Here are five teams that could be making a call for Wright's services next July if the Mets do not sign him to a new long-term contract.
**Note: Teams are ordered from least likely to most likely to acquire Wright
Before the team was decimated by injuries, the Toronto Blue Jays looked like they could have emerged as the surprise team in the American League East this season.
Unfortunately, Toronto was unable to withstand losing practically the entire rotation and superstar Jose Bautista.
Before Bautista got hurt, he called for management to step up and make a move before the trading deadline.
While he was referring to pitching help, other injuries to the lineup and player inconsistencies have mounted up, and the Blue Jays now have trouble getting on base.
Bautista sees his window of opportunity to compete closing, and he has made it obvious that he wants the Blue Jays to make some moves to try and win now. He cannot wait for their youth to develop, and how many more seasons will Edwin Encarnacion produce numbers like he has in 2012?
A package that involves promising third baseman Brett Lawrie for Wright would make sense for the Mets, but it seems unlikely that the Blue Jays would make a move just to appease the wishes of their star player.
Then again, Bautista may be right that the time to act is now, with the American League East undergoing a transformation: The Boston Red Sox are struggling, the New York Yankees are getting older and the Baltimore Orioles cannot convince anyone that they are the real deal.
Albeit very unlikely, the Blue Jays would really make some noise if they acquired a player like David Wright.
The Los Angeles Angels made big splashes in free agency last offseason when they signed first baseman Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson to expensive long-term contracts.
They ponied up the money for them and then went all-in when they acquired former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke before the trading deadline this season.
The Angels are in a win-now mode, as they have a limited window of opportunity to win a championship before the Pujols contract comes back to bite them in the behind.
Also, as the Angels continue to lose headlines to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the club may feel compelled to recapture some of the attention that they gained after their big-time acquisitions.
It makes sense for the Angels, because they have a need at the position. Wright would really make that lineup something to marvel at.
There are some situations though that have the potential to cease all thoughts of Wright in an Angels uniform.
What can the Angels send back in return for Wright? Their minor league system is vastly depleted due to the emergence of Mike Trout in the majors and the trade for Greinke. Many of prospects with the most upside still are a couple years away from making an impact at the major league level.
What kind of overhaul will the Angels experience in the offseason? It is possible the Angels do not make the playoffs this season, and there are rumblings if that happens, manager Mike Scioscia will not be back, which seems absurd.
If Scioscia does not return, what other moves could the Angels make?
Another unlikely landing spot here, but depending on the direction that this team wants to go, it is certainly a possibility.
Depending on what blogs and Internet rumors people read last December, David Wright to the Philadelphia Phillies was a real possibility.
Those rumors continued on for a couple months, but the only reason why they held any weight is because of the glaring hole that Philadelphia has at third base, which only has been exacerbated this season.
The Phillies would love to add Wright because he fills a need and would really fit perfectly with the personalities that they already have.
Sure Philadelphia has had a off year this season, but adding a player of Wright's caliber would open the flood gates to title talk again, especially if that club plays up to what it is capable of next season.
Wright also enjoys hitting at Citizens Bank Park. In 290 at-bats there, he has hit .297 with 16 home runs and 21 doubles.
Throw in the fact that this would be another opportunity for the Phillies to stick it to the Mets, and it all makes perfect sense.
This is a possible landing spot only because there have been numerous rumblings before, but it is difficult to see the Mets trading within the division, let alone with their arch-rival.
General manager Sandy Alderson would really have to be blown away by an offer from the Phillies to pull the trigger on shipping Wright to the City of Brotherly Love and then would have to live with the fact for the rest of his life that he was the one responsible for trading away the face of the franchise to the nemesis.
One thing is for certain heading into 2013 and beyond: The Los Angeles Dodgers will not be afraid to spend money.
Once the sale of the team was finalized, the Dodgers have continued buying, seemingly putting everything on their American Express card because apparently there is no spending limit.
The Dodgers want to win at all costs. Just take a look at all the money that they have tied up in some of their top players. They still have to lock up Clayton Kershaw to a long-term deal.
The Dodgers have a hole at third base, and Wright fits the bill for them. Hanley Ramirez is comfortable at shortstop. That was evident after the trade from Miami.
Luis Cruz is a fan favorite and, if you have watched the Dodgers recently, has been the catalyst for the Dodgers staying afloat in the playoff race.
Are they sold on Cruz as the third baseman going forward? Doubt it.
Los Angeles has the money to afford Wright, but do they have the prospects to send to the Mets in order to obtain him?
The answer may be yes. Dee Gordon, albeit injured now, has seemingly has fallen out of favor, and pitching prospect Zach Lee has been proven to have an electric fastball. Depending on the Dodgers' approach, both could be expendable.
Los Angeles has enough to package an enticing deal to the Mets for Wright, and with the way that both teams are trending, there is a real possibility here that deal could get done.
David Wright to the Arizona Diamondbacks makes too much sense.
The Diamondbacks made the playoffs last season and really looked like a team that would be a serious contender for many seasons to come. They never really got on track this season and have fallen behind the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Outfielder Justin Upton has been a reason for the team's struggles, causing rumors that he was expendable at the trading deadline.
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers is seemingly hell-bent on getting rid of Upton, and many cannot understand why.
Maybe the Mets could take advantage of this strenuous situation with a trade that would help both teams.
The Diamondbacks need a third baseman, unless they are convinced that Chris Johnson is the answer.
Upton still has five-tool talent and 2012 just looks to be a down year. Towers is not sold on him and would probably like to unload him as soon as possible. Depending on how prospect Adam Eaton looks, Upton could be making travel plans sooner rather than later.
If the Mets are not keen on Upton either, there are plenty of other promising prospects that the Mets could acquire in return for David Wright.
Arizona has plenty of young pitching to go-around—Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs or Archie Bradley. Take your pick.
Are the Diamondbacks willing to trade away such talent? That remains to be seen, but with Towers running the show, it is not out of the question.
Arizona is still a talented team and 2012 overall is a wash. This club should get back on track next season. David Wright would be a very nice piece of the puzzle for them going forward.
If New York does not sign David Wright to a new contract, a trip to the desert could be in order, leaving the Mets high and dry without a face to their fumbling franchise.