Like it or not, David Wright is back!

David Wright 3With his first inning two-run home run off Cole Hamels on Friday night, David Wright emphatically stated he was back.

After missing nearly seven weeks with a strained hamstring, Wright returned to the lineup on Friday against the Phillies, assuring he will suit up for the next ten games. The newly-minted captain, didn’t want to sit idle and watch his teammates continue to struggle. He just had to contribute.

While some of the Mets’ faithful wanted Wright to be shutdown in order to prevent any further injury, it is not in Wright’s DNA to sit when he can play. Although, these last 10 games are of little significance to the Mets, it’s nice to know that Wright is willing to play despite the circumstances.

As a captain, sometimes you have to lead by example and if Wright is healthy, why not play? You owe it to your team to go out there and give it your all. While these last ten games mean little (aside for getting a protected pick), Wright just felt it was the right thing to do.

You could tell Wright was enjoying the moment on Friday night. He just loves to play baseball. It’s that unbridled enthusiasm for the game that makes Wright such a joy to watch. As a Mets’ fan, it’s a joy to watch him every day.

I get that shutting him down would be logical and would also prevent a disaster, but Wright wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s not like the first time when Wright was masking his injury in late July. This time, he had medical clearance and was in rehab long enough to justify coming back.

So with this being an another bleak ending for the Mets, it is encouraging that Wright has the baseball juices still in him and that he WANTS to go out there and play despite all the negative surroundings. It’s one of the big reasons he was named captain. And for that, I salute you David.

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Mets’ All-Star hopefuls reach final push

With the All Star game a little more than two weeks away, prospective Mets’ all-star hopefuls have two more weeks to showcase their skills for the Mid-Summer Classic, which, as you all should know, is being held at Citi Field. The last time the Mets hosted the All-Star game was back in 1964.

Just how cool would it be if—even in this sub-satisfactory season—on July 16, when the NL All-Star team is announced, that the Mets could have the NL’s starting third baseman and starting pitcher?

It’s all but certain, that in some capacity, Matt Harvey and David Wright will at least make the squad for the senior circuit. There is also an outside shot that Bobby Parnell could receive a selection. And after a torrid start, John Buck predictably regressed and has played himself out contention for a spot as back-up catcher.

Considering the game is at the place the Mets call home, this exhibition could provide a nice, little summer respite for some loyal fans.

With the Mets tapping into social media and reaching out to cougar websites among other things, they are making a strong push to make Wright the starting third baseman of the National League.

As of last Sunday, Wright was the leading vote getter at third base. On merit alone, Wright deserves the nod. Consider the numbers.

Among NL third basemen, Wright is tops in OPS (.910) and stolen bases (15) while placing second in home runs (12), RBI’s (41), runs (41), hits (85) and batting average (.305).

When looking at it from a sentimental viewpoint, Wright deserves the nod as well.

Wright has been the face of the franchise for nearly a decade and the six-time all-star and first-time captain deserves to have his name called out in front of all the loyal Mets’ faithful that will be in attendance for the game.

As for Harvey, well, what else is left to be said?

Once again, a splendid Harvey start went down the tubes on Friday night when the bullpen spoiled yet another chance for a Harvey victory.

In seven magnificent innings, Harvey allowed just one run on three hits and no walks while also striking out 11 batters. Just another day at the office for Harvey.

Harvey’s ERA is now a pristine 2.00. Harvey leads the NL in ERA, WHIP (0.85), strikeouts (132) and batting average against (.188). Harvey, who is 7-1, could easily have more wins if not for an anemic offense and pathetic bullpen playing behind him.

So, the fans have to do their part to make sure Wright gets the nod, while Bruce Bochy—who will manage the NL squad—will have to make the call on naming the starting pitcher.

July 16 could be a banner day for the Mets. Yes, the season the Mets are having is less than desirable, but with Wright possibly being rewarded for his contributions to the club over the years and Harvey representing the bright future of the franchise, this day could be a beacon in an otherwise dreary season.

David Wright, now would be a good time to step up

 Are you giving it all she’s got, Captain?

Not that David Wright is having a sub-par year; far from it, as Wright is hitting .308 with three home runs and 20 RBI’s. As usual, Wright is producing at the clip we are accustomed to seeing from him.

However, with the Mets having dropped seven out of their last nine games and dropping two games to the pathetic Miami Marlins this week, this is a time when the “Captain” has to go above and beyond the call of duty and carry the team.

For a Mets’ team not expected to do much, it still is deflating to have meltdown after meltdown and lose confidence in the process. For all the hubbub about being officially anointed as “Captain” in the offseason, now would be the ideal time for Wright to take this mantle and steady the ship. Because as of right now, the water is murky and rough since the Mets sit at 11-15 and in fourth place in the NL East.

We all know of Wright’s merits.

By the time Wright’s done playing this game, we should be looking at the Mets’ best hitter ever. The only thing missing from Wright’s resume are titles.

The only validation Wright needs at this juncture of his career is to win and win consistently. Sure, anybody would have a tough time winning with this current incarnation of the Mets, but this is where Wright’s intangibles and leadership will be put to task. This is where Wright has to take the young guys aside and let them know that you have to be held accountable and give them the “talk.”

The Mets’ have been pitching well recently (yes, shocked at the thought too!) despite not being equipped with a star-studded rotation. It has been the offense, though, that been the Mets’ undoing of late. Prior to exploding (and I say that loosely) for seven runs in Wednesday’s win over Miami, the Mets had only scored 20 runs on 49 hits in the previous nine games. Prior to having a quality day at the plate on Wednesday (going 3-5 with a home run), Wright was  among the chief culprits in a lifeless offense; going just 6-27 in his last nine games.

Simply put, when Wright goes on these slumps, the Mets can’t seem to win.

So, with the funk the Mets find themselves in, hopefully Wright’s solid day at the plate on Wednesday can them going in a positive direction. It would be nice if the “Captain” can go on one his patented hot streaks and carry the Mets past the .500 threshold in the near future. If there was a time for Wright to deliver, now would be the ideal time.

Aye, Aye Captain, I know you’re giving it all she’s got!

Roundtable: David Wright’s 2013 (and longer) forecast

After a two-month hiatus, it’s way past time for a Roundtable!  I reached out to friends in the blogosphere to answer the following questions:

Were you in favor of the David Wright extension?

What do you expect him to produce in 2013?

These people all do great work and their names are hyperlinked to their blogs so please go ahead and click on them to check out their real stuff.

Michael Geus – President of the Bob Heise fan club

Yes.

My reasoning is as follows.

– Right now the fans do not trust the ownership at all. Letting Wright go would have amped up the negativity, and that cannot be afforded.

– Wright is the correct type of player to make a multi-year deal with. Hard working, dedicated, etc.

– He is a hitter, we need more hitters, not less

– He will be the same age at the end of this contract that Dickey is now. Signing Wright is consistent with building for 2014 and beyond.

For 2013 I expect totals that look similar to 2012, but with less dramatic swings between first half and second half.

John Coppinger – Turned to writing about the Mets after an internship with Madam Marie

I understood the feeling that if you wanted to rebuild the Mets quickly, you had to trade David Wright. Two problems: 1) If you trade him, you had to be sure that you got multiple blue chip prospects ready to play in the majors within the season. How many teams that need third basemen had those prospects? It would have been hard to find the right fit. And 2) If you strip away absolutely everyone, you have the Houston Astros. It’s hard enough to sell the Mets in New York, try selling the Astros. So yes, I was in favor of the Wright extension.

Expectations? I expect that he shows up to work on time, avoids performance enhancing drugs, doesn’t get injured slicing tomatoes or opening packages, and that he not punch any family members in any rooms especially designated for them. As long as he does this, the numbers that everybody likes to create expectation benchmarks for will come. I’m not worried about that. It’s everybody else on the roster I worry about.

Jason FryRichie Ashburn’s boat captain

In favor of Wright extension? Yes — Wright’s demands seemed pretty reasonable and I thought he was a better bet to avoid injury and stay productive than Jose Reyes,. Plus there’s another factor at work here, one I’ve only started trying to think about and articulate. There’s a necessity in building a franchise that defies statistical measure and I think gets neglected in discussions like the ones we heard about the Marlins’ recent fire sale. The old line is that we root for laundry, but I don’t think that’s true. Building and maintaining a fanbase demands a certain continuity — players can come and go, but not all at once. There has to be a certain percentage of guys we feel we can assume are “ours,” that will put down roots and stay for the long term. Without that, I think it’s harder to attract new fans and prevent current fans’ connection to the team from eroding. I think the Mets were at that point as a franchise, making it critical for them to keep Wright for reasons that were hard or impossible to quantify, but still very real.

What do I expect? Ah, predictions are a mug’s game. Let’s pencil him in for 20 homers, 80 RBIs and hitting above .280. Plus I hope last year’s terrific defense is the new normal. The biggest problem with Wright as a player, it seems to me, really isn’t his fault — when he feels naked in the lineup, you can see him get anxious at the plate and start trying to do the impossible. The Mets aren’t in a position to address that yet, but for now let’s say that the better Ike Davis does, the better I bet Wright does.

Howard Megdal – Offered to donate his feet to Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace

1. Yes. Logically, it made sense to deal him if you were dealing Dickey and letting Reyes go for nothing. But I don’t know what the Mets will be able to put on the field for many years to come. If current ownership cannot alter their circumstances, it doesn’t matter, they can’t keep up, and at least David Wright is around to cheer for. If they can, or new ownership comes in, Wright shouldn’t be prohibitive to building a team, and maybe gets to be part of the next great team. Eight years, after all, is a long time. Feels like forever since Madoff was uncovered. It was four years ago. Wright’s signed for twice that long.

2. .302/.386/.522, 25 home runs, 107 RBI. No more, no less.

Jon Springer – Back in his rightful spot atop the ELO rankings

Yes, I was in favor of the Wright extension. From a pure baseball standpoint, I don’t think it’s inconsistent with the rebuilding to hang onto your best offensive player, and unless the team is willing to roll the dice on Flores (which they’re not) there was no easy solution to third base this year that wouldn’t involve something stupid like playing Justin Turner everyday or hoping Murphy can make another positional switch. Plus there’s the whole emotional angle: People often say it’s a shame that too few players stay with an organization for their entire career; in reality it’s just rare where it makes sense to. This is one case where it does. For 2013, provided he’s healthy etc etc, his numbers will resemble the back of his baseball card, as they tend to do: 300/370/490, something like that.

Eric Stashin – Wondering if he should grade the Mets’ acquisitions on the fantasy curve

I am going to have to split the baby on this and say that I am in favor of the signing in general, but I also think it will eventually cause a burden on the franchise.  Had the Mets not traded R.A. Dickey to improve their future outlook, I would’ve been highly against the move.  That said, the team does need some type of continuity and a “face of the franchise”, so retaining Wright (after trading Dickey and letting Jose Reyes walk a year earlier) makes sense and was a necessary move.

However, it feels like they were paying more for Wright off the field than on it.  He is no longer a 30 SB threat and appears to be nothing more than a low 20s HR hitter (especially in Citi Field).  Throw in an average that easily could be under .300, as it was in 2010 & 2011, and he appears to be more of a complimentary player, while he’s being paid like a superstar (and being paid as such into his late 30s).

Actual 2013 Projection – .290, 20 HR, 95 RBI, 90 R, 18 SB

*****

To me, the big unknown is which player – Dickey or Wright – had more trade value. My guess is that Dickey had more trade value and that’s why he’s gone.  I would have been okay with trading either player and if Sandy Alderson could have gotten similar value for Wright, then it was a mistake not to deal him, too.

The extension seems like a lot, both in dollars and years.  As a Wright fan, I want to believe that last year’s final numbers are what he’ll contribute this year.  But I’m scared by how the second half slump so closely mirrors what he did in 2011.  And if that’s what he ends up producing in 2013, I’m frightened to think what he’ll be doing at the end of the deal.

My projection: .270/.360/.440 with 20 HR and 85 RBIs

*****

Thanks to Michael, John, Jason, Howard, Jon and Eric for participating!

Should Mets make David Wright their captain?

In light of David Wright’s extension, the issue has come up about making Wright the official team captain.  A title held only three times in team history, and one that, well, is a tad overrated, over blown and very much reeks of pulling what the guys in the Bronx do.

The guys in the Boogie Down do it, because George Steinbrenner really,really loved him some college football and brought that “spirit” onto his baseball team.  Often as a position of derision and a sign for that player to wake up a little.  This had no basis in truly “honoring” a locker room leader.  Oh sure stories you hear and read about Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Don Mattingly, and Derek Jeter being “the guy” in terms of a team leader.  But for the most part “Yankee Captain” is more of a PR gimmick than say a hockey or football team’s captain is.

Yes, other teams do have them, and those thusly anointed do have a “C” on their jersey, but considering how few teams publicize “captains” it probably would be for the best that the Mets do not look like “bandwagon jumpers.”  Especially with the very public way, despite the lack of “C” on Jeter’s uniform, that the Yankees treat theirs.

Plus, at the end of the day, is the idea of “officially” tabbing a player “team leader” that important?  For whatever the reason Keith Hernandez was named the official captain prior to the 1987 season, and Gary Carter the co-captain in 1988, and finally John Franco in 2001, those were probably more symbolic in nature.  In other words, giving someone an official title that they probably felt they were already.  Heck, in Jeff Pearlman’s book on the 1986 Champs, there is a passage where Hernandez tells a story where he pulled the “well, I am the captain of the team” card in a situation.  A year before he would officially be called such.

Is Wright a clubhouse leader?  Sure, but it isn’t necessary to slap a “C” on his uniform, and make it an official position as if it is something more than a symbolic, honorary title.

Where is the truth in the Mets/David Wright contract negotiations?

There is certainly a lot of buzz emanating from Queens these days in regards to David Wright’s contract negotiations.

Per MetsBlog, WFAN’s Mike Francesca says that he has sources (inside Mets’ offices) saying that the offer the Mets made to Wright, a deal which is reportedly worth $135-140 million for seven years, is legit and that the Mets are serious about locking up Wright long term. Wright has said in the last couple of days, though, that no official offer has been made and that figure being tossed around is “inaccurate.”

The thinking here is that the Mets had to make an offer to make Wright feel welcome and appreciated while also trying to speed up their plans on how they will attack the offseason and how much money they can spend this winter. On the surface, the deal appears to be authentic and definitely within market value.

So, the ball is now in Wright’s court. The prevailing sentiment is if Wright truly wants to stay with the club and continue being the face of the franchise, this is a more than acceptable deal and one that he should accept with open arms.

Presumably, Wright is upset that all leaked details about his contract negotiations are certainly pushing his hand. Wright wanted to make this a private matter. However, the cat is out of the bag now.

Mets’ officials definitely wanted to make a statement with this offer. They did not want to come off as some coupon-clipping, cash-deprived franchise void of trying to put the best product forward. Since Jose Reyes-another Mets’ staple-was not given the same treatment, the Mets wanted to make it clear that they would not mess it up this time around. The PR hit the Mets would have took if they did not reveal they wanted Wright back publicly could have become ugly and in some cases, unforgivable.

So, where does the truth lie?

If the Mets really did make this offer and it is genuine, then what is Wright waiting for? Is it a smokescreen? Did Wright say that he wanted to stay with the Mets-while avoiding the temptation of joining a contending team-all along thinking that the Mets would never put up an offer as lucrative as the one that is being floated around?

As usual, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

The Mets unquestionably want to save face with this offer and extend an olive branch to some long-time suffering fans who view Wright as irreplaceable-on and off the field. Wright, meanwhile, wants to both maximize his value and also be the guy that will stick with the Mets through thick and thin. While Wright would love to go down in Mets’ lore as a guy who completed his whole career with the same club that drafted him-you know being the Mets’ version of Chipper Jones-he also has to look out for his best interests.

If Wright does not accept this deal, his image will no doubt take a major hit. The backlash he would get from fans, the media, etc. would be unrelenting. I’m sure Wright does not want to go down the same path Jose Reyes just did, although it appeared the Mets had no interest in ever bringing back Reyes.

I also don’t blame the faction of fans who believe this proposed deal is too much for a player getting up there in age and who has battled injuries and inconsistency for the last couple of years (see Wright’s 2012 second half troubles for evidence). Wright also has a tendency to come up short in the clutch and the final years of this deal could prove to be costly.

However, the Mets NEEDED to make an offer like this. They at least set out what they said they were going to do. That was try to lock up Wright long term and build around him and contend for the playoffs in the coming years.

I think Wright and the Mets have to find some common ground, so as to let this fester. Hopefully this ordeal can be put to bed before the Winter Meetings begin, which are set to start next week.

Both Sandy Alderson and Wright need answers and they have to be answered quickly.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

 

Voting on David Wright

Lots of David Wright news going on recently so let’s talk about that and get you to share your opinions.

If you recall, Wright had the best first half of any third baseman but a late push from the San Francisco voters gave the starting All-Star game nod to Pablo Sandoval. Wright was selected to the team but got hosed out of a starting berth. Now it feels like Déjà vu all over again, as some believe that Wright again got slighted when news came down that Chase Headley won the Gold Glove Award. Here is a fielding comparison between the two players:

  Fld Pct Chances Double Plays DRS UZR
Wright .974 384 19 16 15.4
Headley .977 425 14 (-3) 6.0

Headley had more chances and a higher fielding percentage but the advanced numbers favor Wright by a whopping margin. So, here’s poll question #1.

Did David Wright get shafted in the Gold Glove Award voting

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Also yesterday, news came down that the Mets picked up Wright’s $16 million option while continuing to negotiate a long-term contract. The Mets had hoped to have the Wright extension worked out by now but because they didn’t – picking up his option was a no-brainer.

For the sake of the following polls, let’s assume that the 2013 option stands and whatever deal the club works out will begin in 2014. Now, it may or may not work out this way, but this is the simplest way for us to do it, so that’s how we’ll proceed. Please remember, vote on what you think Wright *will* get, not what you *hope* he will get. We’d all love it if he signed a four-year deal for $60 million but we know that’s not going to happen.

How long of an extension should the Mets give David Wright?

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What should be the average annual value of Wright's extension?

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Finally, which one do you see being more problematic for the Mets – the length of the deal or the dollars involved? Frequently the two go hand-in-hand but sometimes one can outweigh the other.

Should Mets be more worried about years or dollars with extension?

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Thanks for taking the time to read and vote. I hope everyone made it through Sandy okay and with minimal damage.

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?

Hey, Mets! Lock up David Wright long-term already!

There is no other way to sugarcoat it. The Mets appear to be stringing along the end of the season.

While it was nice for the Mets to actually score some runs and play spoiler on Friday night by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3, the Mets are once again headed towards a losing season defined by another stumble to end the season. The Mets are now 4-8 in September.

Aside from R.A. Dickey approaching 20 wins and possibly capturing the Cy Young award, Mets’ fans are being deprived of any positive news to rally around.

However, one such move that could soothe the savage beast known as the ornery Mets’ fan is to finally lock up David Wright long-term this month and finally put this story to bed. David Wright’s contract issue could quickly balloon into a media firestorm if he does not re-sign with the Mets sometime soon. And what better time than the present to sign your franchise third baseman?

I know they are some drawbacks to earmarking a boatload of money towards one player, but in this instance signing Wright is the one time it makes sense. This is the face of the franchise and everything you want in a ballplayer. He is the Mets’ version of Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter. Just look where Wright ranks in the Mets’ major statistical category lists to see how important he has been for this club.

If the Mets sign Wright to a sizeable extension it would show goodwill to the fans and signify that they have plans of building a winning team in Queens and not necessarily a rebuilding one. While it made good business sense to not extend an offer to Jose Reyes, who relies mostly on his injury-prone legs, Wright is a whole different story.

What Wright does on the field and off the field is worth the contract he is asking for. For a financially strapped franchise, I get the point of trying to limit the doling out of big contracts. But after you lock up Wright and hopefully Dickey, you won’t have to put too much into the payroll in the coming years since the Mets have a lot of young, under-control players. And since Jason Bay and Johan Santana’s contracts are about to come off the books soon, the money could be put to good use in locking up Wright.

While the Mets will certainly pick up Wright’s 2013 option for $16 million, they can do themselves and their fans a favor by re-signing Wright before the season is over. Why would the Mets want to have this hang over them for all of next year? Remember how bad it was when Reyes was going through the same issue? It would only serve as a distraction. Create a buzz and go into the 2013 season knowing Wright will be around for the long haul.

While I get that trading Wright while his trade value at its highest point is something that could net the Mets a handsome reward on the trade market, the Mets are in no position to alienate their fanbase anymore after what has transpired the last couple of seasons. Wright simply means too much to the fans.

Goodwill and results is what the Mets need. And it all begins and ends with Wright.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

My last David Wright post

A lot has been written about David Wright and the New York Mets this year. I, for one, have written various versions of the same thing I’m going to write here, and I’m going to keep on writing it until it either comes true or events develop that result in a different ending. In my world, this is what’s going to happen.

(Note – people keep asking me “do I know David Wright”. The answer is, yes, we have met a number of times. I’ve interviewed him twice. We don’t have a relationship past that, but I believe if we passed in the hall, he would recognize me, and say “hey Mack”. Have we ever talked about this? No. In fact, the only thing we ever talked about was the passing of an ex-teammate of his and the size of Bobby Bonilla, who had just entered the clubhouse. I was the lowest of beat reporters allowed in the clubhouse and I knew my place. Wright was not part of my world and I respected that.)

Everybody keeps writing that Sandy Alderson has one of three options here:

1. Extend Wright during the 2012-2013 offseason.

2. Trade Wright during the 2012-2013 offseason if he refuses to sign.

3. Trade Wright during the season.

It is my belief, after talking to people, discussing this with my contacts, (as others put it) making things up, and (as Warner Wolf used to say) going to the video tape, only two or three are achievable.

Wright is not going to re-sign with the New York Mets. I’ve been writing this for close to six months now and even Adam Rubin either is reading me or getting the same chatter because he’s saying the same thing.

Wright doesn’t want to be a Met anymore. And his reasons are pretty simple. He does not want to end his career with a paycheck signed by Fred Wilpon.

Wright will tell the people who put microphones or tape recorders in front of his lips that he wants to play for a ‘winner’. He’s even gone as far last month as saying ‘and, there’s not been that much of that around here’, but that’s all you’re going to hear from Wright during this season, in the off-season and during next season. If anything, Wright is loyal to the uniform and that’s all you’re getting.

But loyalty to the front office stopped dead in its tracts May 2011 when Jeffrey Toobin  of New Yorker Magazine printed an article called “Madoff’s Curveball”. In it Wilpon said about Wright: “A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.”

Every wheel stopped with that statement.

I can’t prove what I’m about to say. I have three sources regarding it, but I’ve been away from the Mets fire lines the past few months. Still, I feel comfortable in say this:

David Wright has not shared a single word with Fred Wilpon since that article in The New Yorker.

Oh, they’ve talked about each other. They might have shared a text. Wright gave a generic comment about the story and there might be an email or two, but Wright has chosen to no longer have Wilpon in his life.

At the same time, he has seen from afar (i.e. Carlos Beltran) that there is good baseball past being a New York Met.

He continues to tow the company line, especially the one when every beat reporter runs to him after every loss or inane statement out of the front office. Wright handles them better than Mitt Romney is doing with MSNBC, turns and packs his bag, and heads to the safety of the parking lot. From there, he enters his world until he drives back for the next night of chaos.

No, you are going to see David Wright in a Met uniform… for the rest of this year.

If Sandy Alderson is smart, he’ll cut a deal before the season starts next spring and gets the most he’s ever going to get for a guy that probably just had the best season he’s going to have during this decade.

If not, he’s exercise the option and you will see Wright back next year until a deal can be done during the season.

Lastly, the Mets could chose to go down the same insane path they did with Jose Reyes and take draft picks for the face of the team since 2004.

But, what you’re not going to see is Wright put on a Mets cap in 2014. No, that will have to wait until Cooperstown.

The Mets, David Wright and the road less traveled

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood, 

And sorry I could not travel both              

And be one traveler, long I stood             

And looked down one as far as I could  

To where it bent in the undergrowth;             

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,        

And having perhaps the better claim,    

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;             

Though as for that the passing there     

Had worn them really about the same,         


 And both that morning equally lay         

In leaves no step had trodden black.      

Oh, I kept the first for another day!        

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.           


I shall be telling this with a sigh 

Somewhere ages and ages hence:          

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 

I took the one less traveled by,  

And that has made all the difference.

 

Two roads diverged in Flushing, and I’m not talking about 126th St. and Roosevelt Ave.  The Mets are faced with two futures.  They cannot manage to have both, all they can do is look down the paths and see which option seems better.  What might seem better now, may not be better later.  Either way, the paths seem to head towards our final destination.  So, in this metaphoric quandary, which path do the Mets choose?

The first path bends the Mets and hitchers our cart to a familiar star.  The Mets can re-sign David Wright and make the statement, “This is David’s team.”  Win or lose, he’s our man, face and brand.  He’ll be the cornerstone of the organization for years and the Mets will look towards a World Series with him leading the offense by 2013-14.  It’s not outrageous to think the Mets could do it.  The Mets have some hitters: David Wright, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy who can get things done with their bats.  Adding in a player like: Mike Napoli or some other offensive boost could go a long way.  The Mets have some pitching: Matt Harvey, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Johan Santana, Josh Edgin, and a host of minor leaguers.  The Mets sign a safety net starter and perhaps a reliever or two and they could be pretty set.

Let’s Say The Mets Took This Path:

  • Resign David Wright Long-Term
  • Sign A Few Free Agents
  • Trade Prospect Wilmer Flores
  • Compete With Washington in the NL East in 2013
  • Make World Series Run in 2014 (Behind: David Wright, Ike Davis, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler)

The second path is darker and misty.  We can’t truly see our way, but we try our best and stumble on.  On this path the Mets trade David Wright, the face of the franchise, to a contender in need of immediate help at 3rd base.  They look to receive 2-4 prospects with at least one in the elite level of prospect-hood.  Let us argue that the Mets make this trade and that elite player they receive plays the outfield and hits righty.  The Mets then look at Lutz for the first half of 2013, until Wilmer Flores proves he’s ready.  The Mets promote Flores and, for good measure, Matt Den Dekker.  The Mets are still built from within in terms of pitching, with limited need for acquisitions there.  In 2014 the Mets re-evaluate their needs in terms of free agency based on how their young team progressed the previous year.

Let’s Say The Mets Took This Path:

  • Use Option/Trade David Wright
  • Promote From Within
  • Wait For 2014 To Make Any Signings
  • Compete With Washington and Atlanta in 2014 and 2015
  • Make World Series Run in 2015 or 2016 (Behind: Wilmer Flores, Ike Davis, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and the mystery man we traded Wright for)

Both of these paths get the Mets towards fielding a World Series contending team in the next 3 years.  One takes a little longer but might have the bigger reward and potential for an extended run of NL dominance.  One focuses on what we have and tries to use it without sacrificing our future.  Sadly… the Mets might take a different path altogether.

The Road Less Traveled: Wilpon Blvd

The Mets don’t sign Wright long-term… They don’t trade him… They play out a mediocre 2013 with some promising hopeful moments and then… Watch David Wright hop off to a division rival… OR THE YANKEES!  The Mets promote all their young players but don’t have the surrounding cast of characters to carry a true contending team.  Met fans watch as the team they love flounders in neutral because their ownership chose the path less traveled… NOT MOVING AT ALL.

Here’s The Point: Trade Wright… Don’t Trade Wright… I don’t care anymore.  Make a plan and follow through with it or sell the team to an ownership group that can make these decisions and live with the consequences.

Sizing up potential Met All-Star candidates

In just about a month’s time (July 10 in Kansas City) the mid-summer night classic-better known as the MLB All-Star game-will commence, bringing both great fanfare and controversy along the way.

Despite your feelings about the game itself, it is always an honor to be selected for the annual event. As fans of the game, it is fun to argue and debate on the merits of who belongs to be included on the All-Star roster.

Some argue that the selection process is flawed and out of touch with reality-helped of course by the fact that fans still have the power to select the starters-with the game becoming a floundering spectacle. At the heart of many fans’ rage is the fact that the winner of the All-Star game gets home field advantage for their respective league. However, that is another argument for another day.

As I said it’s fun to speculate on who should be chosen, and with the rule being that at least one player from each team be represented (another rule some people despise), we’ll know the Mets will have at least one delegate. But with a team that is playing over their heads and exceeding expectations, we all know that the Mets should have more than one representative.

So, in this post I will adhere to objectivity and confidently proclaim that the Mets should have three representatives in the All-Star Game. Actually, it’s pretty cut and dry. The three (David Wright, R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana) about to be profiled have gone out and proven without a doubt to be All-Star-worthy. After that, there isn’t any other strong case for anyone else to be included.

So, here then should be your 2012 Mets’ All-Star representatives:

David Wright:

Wright’s selection is a shoe-in.

Batting .359 (second in the NL) with seven home runs and 33 RBI’s, Wright has all but erased doubts that he is still a premier player despite his injury-riddled, non-productive 2011 campaign. As of Wednesday, Wright was leading all third baseman in voting. The prevailing thought here is Wright will get the popularity vote and will go regardless. In any event, even if he was somehow not voted in, he would be a no-brainer selection.

R.A. Dickey:

Dickey has been a revelation this year and has legitimately become a front-end ace. At 8-1 (tied atop the NL in victories), Dickey has done all that was asked of him and much more.

Dickey has morphed into a complete pitcher and is throwing his patented knuckleball with much more vigor and crispness. As such, Dickey is accumulating quite a few strikeouts (70 K’s in 73.2 innings pitched) while also limiting the baserunners (1.06 WHIP, which is no doubt buoyed by him issuing only an astonishing 17 walks). With 10 quality outings in 11 starts to go along with a sterling 2.69 ERA, there is no doubt that Dickey should be included on the All-Star roster.

Heck, if Dickey keeps it up and has stats like this by the break, there is every reason for him to be in the discussion for being the NL’s starting pitcher.

Johan Santana:

Ah yes, he of the first ever Mets’ no-hitter lore. Maybe Santana should be selected for putting an end to a 50-year curse.

All kidding aside, Santana deserves to be included on the NL All-Star roster. Although Santana has only three wins, you can’t fault him for the lack of victories as factors beyond his control (lack of run support, shoddy defense and bullpen meltdowns) have resulted in him having six no-decisions.

Santana’s peripherals have been outstanding and with a 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and an outstanding 3.2 strikeout to walk ratio, he has every right to be selected. I have a feeling that Santana will get shafted do to the paltry win total, but aside from that Santana has been a godsend for the Mets rotation and he deserves the All-Star nod.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon