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
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 Fry – Richie 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!