The recent report that the Mets may try to trade David Wright and keep Jose Reyes has caught many people off guard. I think it's time for Wright and the Mets to part ways. I also believe keeping Reyes is crucial for the Mets.
Wright's stock is certainly down, though, as his strikeouts are up and his whole hitting approach has seemed to crumble over the past three years. At the same time, third base remains a premium position in the majors, and Wright is without a doubt one of the top five players at the position.
Also, the deterioration of Wright's hitting may be attributable to Citi Field, and the Mets are sure to find some trading partners that feel Wright needs a simple change of scenery to return to his old form.
The following slideshow identifies five trade possibilities that don't punish the Mets for selling low on Wright and getting a return that more closely reflects Wright's value.
A quick note: The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox are two teams that may be interested in Wright, but it's hard to pinpoint the right package either team could provide the Mets to facilitate the exchange.
The Giants would have little to offer the Mets in the way of offense. You'd have to imagine Brandon Belt is untouchable. However, Jonathan Sanchez would provide the Mets with another legitimate front-line starter to pair with (a hopefully healthy and fully recovered) Johan Santana.
The Giants have some intriguing outfield prospects, such as Gary Brown and Jarrett Parker, along with pitching prospect Zach Wheeler.
For Wright, I'm not sure if this move would be the best. He again would be forced to carry an offense on his back, which I don't think he can do. He would also be moving to another pitcher's park that would sap his opposite-field power.
This is the least likely trade because the Red Sox are already juggling players at the corner infield positions. It would require the Red Sox to part ways with either Kevin Youkilis or David Ortiz.
Youkilis is currently playing third base, and Adrian Gonzalez is implanted at first base, so Youkilis can't move across the diamond. At the same time, the Red Sox have to realize that Youkilis is getting older, along with their designated hitter Ortiz. Both players continue to improve, but there's no doubt that acquiring Wright and moving Youkilis to DH would help the team in the long run (or keeping Ortiz and moving Youkilis in a trade).
David Wright would flourish in the middle of a Red Sox lineup that would likely become the most powerful and explosive in the league.
The Red Sox would certainly be paying a steep price by trading Ellsbury. However, Ellsbury would be the perfect for the Mets. He is a very good center fielder and is one of the most explosive baserunners in the league. He has very little power to begin with, so the Mets would not have to be concerned with losing that tool when he comes over to Citi Field.
A lineup with Reyes and Ellsbury leading off would make the Mets' No. 3-5 hitters see better pitches to hit and would give opposing pitchers a reason to be constantly distracted.
David Wright would be an interesting target for the Orioles. You have to figure that they may be in the bidding for both Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols this summer, but it is also likely that they will not begin 2012 with either of them.
Wright would be the only middle of the lineup presence that the Orioles could get this summer, and they really need it. Moreover, a tandem of Wright and Fielder would turn the Orioles into instant contenders.
Nick Markakis had a down year last year and has not started 2011 off too well. With that said, he still has one of the prettiest swings in the league and, like Wright, may benefit from a change in location. Markakis would make a wonderful No. 2 hitter for the Mets behind Reyes. He would also fit nicely in right field, where Carlos Beltran currently plays.
Chris Tillman would give the Mets a pitcher with a lot of potential and some major-league experience. Tillman, a fly-ball pitcher, may thrive at Citi Field and, like Markakis and Wright, may be due for a change of scenery after being given numerous but restricted chances in Baltimore.
On the other hand, a pitcher like Daniel Klein is likely near ready to contribute in the Mets bullpen, possibly as a closer, by 2012 or 2013 at the latest.
The Reds currently have the aging Scott Rolen playing third base, and he will need to be replaced very soon. David Wright would go from the worst hitter's park in the league to the best hitter's park in the league.
The Mets would receive one of the two top catching prospects in the minors in either Mesoraco or Grandal. Mesoraco, currently in Triple-A, would provide a more immediate impact, but Grandal's upside is likely higher than Mesoraco's.
The Reds have a group of solid infield prospects, including Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart, that could contribute in the majors soon, but their long-term value is questionable. Billy Hamilton is another intriguing prospect. He is in A-ball right now and is only hitting .224, but the intrigue derives from his 45 stolen bases in 54 games, while only being caught seven times.
The Los Angeles Angels have been in desperate need of a steady presence in the center of their lineup since Vladimir Guerrero began the downside of his career.
David Wright would provide them with a middle of the lineup presence that could be paired with Kendrys Morales, when he comes back next year, and Howie Kendrick, who seems to be finding all the potential we have heard about over the last five years.
The Mets would receive a pitcher that could easily be slotted into the No. 2 spot of the rotation by coming to the NL and Citi Field. Between Dan Haren and Jered Weaver the Angels are set at the top of the rotation, and Tyler Chatwood has been impressive as a 21-year-old so far in 2011.
Jean Segura would give the Mets a legitimate infield prospect who may be able to contribute within the next two years. Segura possesses two of the most important tools for the Mets as they attempt to build a team around Citi Field, which are speed and defense. He currently plays shortstop but will more than likely be a second baseman in the majors.