As Frank Costanza once told Lloyd Braun: I got good news and bad news and they’re both the same – - you’re fired. Well, David Wright re-signing with the New York Mets comes with some good news and bad news as well.
It should be noted that I am not a Mets fan, nor do I have an opinion on them whatsoever, so I have no idea knowing how important David Wright is to their fanbase. But judging by everything I have read about Wright this winter, it seemed the consensus was Wright should be a Met for life, which is exactly what is going to happen now.
Wright’s seven-year, $122 million extension is a large price to pay for a team that is supposedly in financial trouble, but the Wilpons needed to do something. If they didn’t re-sign Wright, the backlash would have been pretty intense, considering how well-received Wright is in New York. From a strict baseball standpoint, however, I don’t think I like the deal for the Mets.
As always, let’s start with the bad news. Wright’s 2012 season has a little bit of a fluke feel to it. For the past three seasons, he was a double-digit negative defender, according to the flawed UZR statistic. In 2012, however, Wright was a +15, which is something he never accomplished in his career.
In regards to the actual team, the Mets aren’t ready to contend in the NL East quite yet. Ever since they lost in the NLCS in 2006, they have been stuck in quicksand, slowly sinking to the bottom in the National League. Investing $138 million in someone who has been with the team for that same time period might not be the best move. Personally, as painful as it would be, the Mets should just scrap the whole thing and start from scratch, but I’m just an outside observer. I’m sure if I was a Met fan I would feel entirely different.
Having said all that, there definitely is some good news in this whole ordeal. The most obvious piece of good news is that Wright is a darn good player. Even if his 2012 was a bit fluky, he’s still one of the better third basemen in baseball. Also, Wright is still pretty young (turns 30 on December 20th), so he should be able to play well for at least half of his contract.
It’s hard to imagine Wright living up to his contract, seeing as most large contracts don’t pay off. But today should be a happy day for all Mets fans, even with all the potential detractors.