New York Mets Need to Find Franchise’s New Face
I would apologize for bringing this up again, but that would require me to be sorry. I’ve been discussing David Wright and the New York Mets’ eventual decision to trade him since the summer. I still maintain that the New York Mets are better off trading their third baseman than they are re-signing him or letting him walk in free agency. Personally, I wanted David Wright traded two months ago. It was nothing at all against him – except for my perception that he’s allowed Citi Field to get too far into his head – but as a New York Mets fan, I just want the organization to jump into rebuilding mode with both feet.
The market for Wright may not have been that strong this offseason as he was coming off of another tough campaign. I would guess that this was one of the top two reasons that Sandy Alderson and Co. did not move their former stud. The other reason could have been the fear of PR backlash – a possibility that really irritates me. There are going to be trade rumors swirling Wright all the way through the July 31st Trade Deadline and then leading up to the 2012-2013 offseason. Joel Sherman thinks that, one way or another, the Mets will pull the trigger on a trade before the start of next season.
One of Sherman’s main arguments is the long-term extension that the Washington Nationals just handed to their own third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. The Mets can’t afford that right now. First of all, if they weren’t cash strapped and confined to a $90 million payroll, that sort of money probably would have gone to Jose Reyes. He had his own personal flaws, but he definitely earned it with his performance and his dynamic skill set. Secondly, even if the Mets resolved all financial issues and obtained a windfall of cash by tomorrow morning, I’m not sure I’d even want them to sign Wright to a Zimmerman-like extension.
Not only will Wright be 30 in December (not old, but not the age to hand out a long extension), but his performance has clearly left a lot to be desired ever since the move from Shea Stadium. He simply hasn’t earned another big money extension (he signed a six-year/$55 million extension in 2006). A lot of people will disagree with this, but it is definitely time for the New York Mets to move on and develop a new “face of the franchise”.
To prevent myself from rambling (and to finish this up before the Carolina vs. Duke game), I’ll conclude by saying that I am with Sherman on this. I think the New York Mets need to trade David Wright sometime during the next calender year. The sooner the better for me (just so they can move on with more rebuilding blocks), but if the Carlos Beltran trade was any indication, the front office will remain patient until the right package comes along. I will book my bet that the trigger will be pulled on a deal before July 31st IF Wright cooperates with a strong first half. If he is putting up a strong season, there will be several contenders in search of an upgrade at the hot corner and the New York Mets will be able to provide it.
For more talk on the New York Mets and the brewing trade rumors, follow me on twitter @craigmwilliams.