In a world where David Wright is wrong

Up is down, black is white is short is long and everything that you thought which was SO important, doesn’t matter.

These prophetic words were sung by Weird Al Yankovich in his Album, Bad Hair Day.  The reality remains that with or without David Wright, the Mets are far from being a World Series competitor.  That’s the goal, right?  We’re not shooting for mid-season relevance… we’re actually trying to WIN a Championship… right?

Wright is averaging into a 20/20 hitter and in a mediocre Met lineup has managed to be productive in terms of Runs and RBIs.  He’s even gotten his strikeouts under control.  Sadly, the Mets are not a big market team (Prove me wrong Mr. Wilpon!).  So now that David Wright’s contract reaches expiration, the Mets need to see what they can get for him.

That Begs Two Questions:

  1. 1.       Who Needs A Star 3B?
  2. 2.       Who Might This Team Trade?

Atlanta Braves – As strange as it seems that the Mets might be best off trading their “Marquee” player to the braves for prospects, we have to appreciate that Wright is going to be on a 1-year option so in a year he can choose to go wherever he desires anyway.

  • Christian Bethancourt, C: He’s 21 and already playing in AA.  That’s good.  He has a strong showing in the AFL.  That’s also good.  He was hurt this August, but fracturing your hand is hardly as doom-ridden as muscle problems.  His ETA would be 2014 and he’d be the #1 catcher in the Met system.  He’s already considered the #4 catching prospect in Baseball.
  • Joey Terdoslavich, 3B: Assuming the Braves plan to re-sign Wright long-term, the “Heir to Chipper” could see his way into a Met uniform.  Terdoslavich was good in AA but bad in AAA which leads me to wonder if the player who will begin 2013 as a 25 year old is mostly Atlanta Brave hype.
  • Edward Salcedo, 3B: Salcedo is Atlanta’s version of Wilmer Flores.  He has his advantages (similar power and considerably more speed) and his disadvantages (less contact and considerably less discipline at the plate) vs. Flores but they are similar in that they both played SS and couldn’t cut it at the position.
  • Nick Ahmed, SS: He’s 22 and only in advanced A but he does profile right now as a pretty solid short stop.  Nothing phenomenal, but 30 SBs and a little power to go along with solid defense.

Cleveland Indians – The Indians have about 1.5 million players to play SS for them but more importantly they don’t really have a strong candidate to play 3rd in 2013.  The Mets could come away with a couple good hitting prospects (at least 1 SS) if they trade David Wright to the Cleve.

  • Francisco Lindor, SS: He was the Indian’s first round selection last year and he played this season in Class A ball.  A switch hitter who projects to hold his position with solid hitting and speed is quite a lot, but he’s also Cleveland’s top prospect and seems like a poor fit for a David Wright rental.
  • Dorssys Paulino, SS/3B: Pualino might be too big to hold onto his position but he hits well enough (or certainly projects to) to play at 3B as well.  At 17, he’s a long way from the bigs but if the Mets are truly eyeing a full rebuilding of their franchise, it’s not bad to go for talent over everything.
  • Tony Wolters, SS: The Indians have a LOT of depth at short.  Their top 3 prospects are all short stops.  Wolters is the farthest along in the system.  He has some power and is a “smart” base-runner (which is code for not that fast).  The expectation is for Wolters to become the Indian’s second baseman of the future.
  • Ronny Rodriguez, SS: Here’s a clue, if the Mets trade with the Indians… they are getting a short stop.  Rodriguez is the toolsiest hitter of the group with + power at the age of 19.  He even has some speed.  Why isn’t he ranked higher?  He also has 88 Ks and 19 BBs in 126 games.  For those familiar with Matt Den Dekker, these are modest numbers, but they aren’t good.
  • Alex Monsalve, C: Monsalve began the year in Low-A and finished in High-A.  You can see the drop off in his numbers but at 20, he’s still ahead of schedule for a catcher.  He’s regarded well for his defensive tools and has the size and makeup to hit with some pop.
  • Luigi Rodriguez, OF: Rodriguez is 19, a switch hitter and has power and speed.  11 HRs and 24 SBs in 117 games of High-A is impressive for a 19 year old.  He strikes out a lot but again… he’s 19.

Miami Marlins – It’s not realistic to think that the Marlins would trade prospects for a David Wright rental.  We KNOW, it would be a rental because the Marlins would inevitably either ride Wright to a World Series or trade him when the team reached the deadline.  They are looking for a creative solution to slot in at 3B.  Why not reunite Wright and Reyes in South Beach?

  • Christian Yelich, OF: At 19 he played in the Florida State League and did pretty well for himself.  Why would the Mets consider bringing in a lefty OF?  Well… he projects as Carl Crawford-like.  He’s got some power and plenty of speed and he actually has the contact and on-base skills to back it up.  I can’t see the Marlins dishing their top prospect for a CLEAR rental.
  • Zack Cox, 3B: A middling prospect by some accounts.  Before 2012 he was regarded as a big power bat with batting titles in his future.  I’m not one to assume a player is done-for after one rough season in AAA.
  • Rob Brantly, C: Projects as Josh Thole with a tick more power and a much better arm.  Brantly is close to “Major League Ready” and would be a nice asset to pick up.

New York Yankees – The Yankees have moved A-Rod to a DH position and don’t have a tailor made 3B waiting in the wings… unless you consider that the Yankees treat the rest of the MLB as their minor league system.  Trading for Wright makes complete and total sense as they needed to sell a few more tee-shirts.  Plus think of all the fans the Wilpons would directly lose by signing away their star player across town.

  • Gary Sanchez, C: Not being pried away from the Yankees for any amount of Wright.
  • Zoilo Almonte, OF: He’s got power and speed and is a switch hitter.  He was in AA for 2012 which as a 23 year old is about right for his progress but leaves little room for Almonte to hit stumbling blocks.

Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies are rebuilding.  You can tell, because they are pushing their way into the playoffs.  So imagine, if you are so bold, David Wright mashing 45 HRs a year in Philly.  Imagine seeing Wright’s smug face on the scoreboard wearing red and white.  Then realize that the Phillies farm system, even after trading for Halladay etc… is well stocked with talent.  Now shake your fist, with me, at Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette.

  • Tommy Joseph, C:  He’s a powerful catcher who plays well enough behind the plate to stay there.  He slugged .399 with a .715 OPS in AA at 21 and really only needs to improve his patience when hitting to round into a major-league ready player.
  • Sebastian Valle, C: While Joseph is more highly regarded, I would bet that Valle would be harder to acquire.  For one, he’s already in AAA.  For another, he’s been catching the Phillies top pitching prospects for most of their pro careers.  Not for nothing, but wouldn’t it be awesome to get the insider information this guy has?
  • Roman Quinn, SS: He looks a lot like Jose Reyes.  He’s mostly speed but he gets extra bases because of that speed.  This led to a .408 SLG in the New York Penn league.
  • Cody Asche, 3B: He’s got similar feel to David Wright.  Not the power he showed early in his career, but that mix of speed and power that Wright has.  He’s a lefty and he’s already played his way through AA.  Could be a nice player to pair with Wilmer Flores at second.

This was no fun for me to write.  I don’t want the Mets to trade David Wright.  I want my favorite player to stay on the team for the rest of his pro baseball career.  The entire purpose to this post, was a reality check.  There aren’t a ton of teams who will be clamoring for Wright and while the Mets may not be poised to win NOW, are they capable of taking the P.R. blow of trading him (potentially to a rival)?  It all disgusts me.  Why can’t a New York baseball team manage to shell out $150 Million annually for the team?

8 comments for “In a world where David Wright is wrong

  1. Name
    September 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Why would the Mets trade him to any NL east team or the yankees. Makes absolutely no sense and would be a slap in the face of the fans. So basically the only team on here that you mentioned would be the Indians, but they are a small-market franchise and won’t take on that big of a contract.

    • September 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      I’ve never understood the logic about not trading with certain teams. The idea is to get the best return for Wright. If the Braves are offering 3 useful pieces and the next best offer somewhere else is 1 useful piece and 2 fillers — I want to deal with the Braves. Now, if two teams are offering identical packages, OK sure, trade him somewhere else. But rarely are you offered talent so close in return that I would let this “rival” thinking come into play.

      As for the Indians, they have Lonnie Chisenhall at 3B. He spent the first month in the minors and got hurt shortly after he was promoted, but he’s back now and has a 129 OPS+ in his brief time in the majors. I kind of doubt they would be looking to empty the vault to acquire a 3B.

      I don’t know what most other teams have in their farm system but I wonder how these teams would stack up as potential trade partners:

      Angels, A’s, Reds, Cubs

      • 7train
        September 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

        Angels have really depleted their farm and I don’t think the Cubs would think that Wright would make that much of a difference. A’s maybe to deal, not to sign him long term but Wright would fit the Reds like a glove, problem is the two guys who would have been worthwhile were traded for Latos last off season. I can’t see Hamilton going anywhere and they’d probably just go with Fraser rather than run up the tab.

        Definitely worth a full examination though and once word gets out………….

  2. Metsense
    September 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    If the Mets trade David Wright because his demands are not affordable or Wright decides he wants to play on a competitive team then the Mets need to take back major league talent worth 16M in trade, not more prospects that are 2-3 years away. We have all seen since the all star break what good starting pitching without any hitting results in. Waiting for hitting prospects just won’t cut it and will cause the franchise to continue losing money.

  3. 7train
    September 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I think you nailed the teams that might be interested and there could be a few other prospects Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Romine, Murphy from the Yankees for example but there is really no way to get any of the top prospects without a trade and sign in place and that is very problematic and would require Wright’s cooperation as well and that would really narrow down the teams even further.

    Cleveland you could probably forget and anything that doesn’t include Lindor isn’t enough coming back anyway. Yankees would have to really be in a mid season bind with A-Rod and would probably squeeze us for some worthwhile pieces along with Wright to get us a worthwhile return. Something like Wright AND Fulmer (or Wright, Tovar and Duda) for Sanchez and Williams to help balance the payroll.

    Doders and Giants could be eyeing each other nervously with the Panda or Han Ram going somewhere else, Wright going to one of them and us collecting something from both but just about any worthwhile return is going to require a kick in on their salaries and Wright agreeing to sign on or we’re not getting enough for it to make sense.

    Regardless of how it shakes out anyone we’re targeting are players we could have drafted or signed ourselves and that’s the shame of the whole thing. Thirty WAR total from rounds 2-6 combined over a 22 year period (1987-2008) leaves a lot of holes in the roster.

    I don’t really see a market developing this off season. Whether one develops mid season is more up to fate than anything else but if you were Wright staring at FA in two months would you sign with just anyone at the last minute?

    I see it as 10% Wright re signing, 10% off season deal, 40% July trade, 40% draft pick comp and I don’t see Alderson having much control over which way it goes. He’ll have to play the hand he’s dealt as best he can.

  4. Charles
    September 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    While the logic behind trading to rivals can be debated forever, you picked the worst teams to match the mets with in trading their biggest homegrown star. Unless he signs with them as a free agent on his own, he’ll never play for those teams. The mets will never, no really, never ever, trade him to those teams you mentioned. While I’m for trading him in order to bring in a top outfield, catcher, or third base prospect(top as in top twenty in league), I just can’t imagine the mets ever trading him to those teams. Now, if they are being offering two “wheeler” type prospects, anything is possible, but I doubt anyone who offer it. I could see a “wheeler” type and two lesser prospects like players on Puello’s level. If that’s offered, which many teams would offer it, the mets would choose those four teams to deal with. They’d pick the team that doesn’t drive the last stake into the fans hearts.

  5. Gary Seagren
    September 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Sandy’s only option this winter to improve the club is by a trade. That means we have really only 5 possibility’s…Wright, Dickey, Davis, Neise and Tejada. Given that Sandy and gang have been watching this mess for 2 years now its time they show what there here for. For example since 2000 the Mets have spent twice as much on payroll as Oakland and gone 1037W and 1050L to Oaklands 1129W and 958L. Also over that same period the Braves have spent more than a 100 million twice…106 in 03 and 102 in 08 while we’ve been well over the 100 million mark eight times. Isn’t there a lesson here….are you listening Freddy? Could it be there’s no stability in the front office from top to bottom and no real plan in place. It was one thing to wing it when they had mega-Madoff bucks coming in but it’s altogether different now…how else can you explain paying Bonilla a million and change for 25 more years. Our only hope is that Sandy and Co. are allowed to do their thing and their thing works.

  6. Stephen Basile
    September 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    If the Mets trade Wright it better be for OF and C prospects that’s all I know. If they can get a player to team up with Nimmo in the future OF and a C that can hit and handle a young pitching staff, then we’re talking about a team that can contend.

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