Any way you slice it, David Wright will go down as a polarizing figure in New York Mets lore. His early days as part of the 2006 team that won 97 games proved that he was an elite third baseman in the league. As the years moved along, Wright became the face of the franchise and the definite fan favorite. He was rewarded handsomely on December 4th, 2012, when Wright was signed to a 7-year $138 Million contract. Since then, his numbers have declined while his injuries have increased mightily. Over the past three seasons, Wright has only played in 75 games, including none in the 2017 season. At this point, it is unknown whether or not he will return to playing competitive baseball.
This poses an obvious question for not only Mets brass, but also Wright himself. How will Wright return to the Mets? There are several routes that can be taken by him, each possibly being helpful to the organization. The first option is for Wright to return as a player. While this may be a long stretch at this point, it is not impossible. It is known that Wright vehemently attempts to rehabilitate from his injuries, the latest being a right shoulder impingement. Wright has also found motivation from childhood friend Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman, who grew up with Wright in the Tidewater area of Virginia, is enjoying an All-Star season at age 32. He is better in every statistical category than last season, after battling several injuries the past few seasons. Wright needs to realize that his injuries, most specifically his Spinal Stenosis, is a lot more damaging and harder to come back from than normal injuries. Many Mets fans and the organization need to come to the same realization as well. After all, this is the same injury that forced NFL running back David Wilson into retirement.
A second, possibly more reasonable option for Wright would be to return as a manager or other leadership role for the organization. Terry Collins is on the last year of his contract, and it is not likely at this point that he gets retained for another season in Queens. It would be a complete 360 for the Mets to switch from the oldest manager in the league in Collins to who would be the youngest in the league, Wright. It may be just what the organization needs though. With highly touted infield prospects Amed Rosario and Dom Smith likely up with the big league club next season, the Mets will need a manger with patience and experience in that position before. Wright knows exactly what it is like to be a young infielder in New York, coming to the big league club at only age 22. Smith is 22, and Rosario is 23, respectively. The Mets will need a manager that will grow with the young infielders and have patience, especially as the title window for the Mets appears to be closing rapidly.
Wright will forever be apart of the Mets organization. He has been the face of the franchise for over a decade, and he is the career leader in 12 statistical categories for the team. His injuries have deteriorated his ability to make the field these past few seasons. When Wright does return, will it be on the field? Or will it be in the dugout holding the lineup card? At this point, it is simply a waiting game regarding Wright’s future.