Did someone forget to tell the New York Mets that they were supposed to suck? No Johan Santana, no David Wright, no Ike Davis. Wasn’t the plan for Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez to be traded to contending teams saving the Mets second half payroll and bringing back some fine young talent?
After winning their last four games the Mets are now two games above .500 at 41-39. Not only have they finally broke through the .500 mark after bumping up upon it for weeks, they’ve done so with authority scoring a club record 52 runs during the past four games. 52 runs! That’s an average of 13 runs per game boys and girls.
The Philadelphia Phillies have the best record in baseball at 51-30 and as long as they have their Ménage à trios starting staff intact, no one is catching them. The Mets are currently tied with the Cincinnati Reds five games back of the Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves with just the St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks ahead of them. If the Mets approach the trading deadline in contention for a Wild Card spot from a PR standpoint, one would have to think there is no way the Mets will start trading off integral pieces of their on field puzzle. Or would they?
One of the more interesting debates taking place among fans in NY is whether or not the Mets should trade one of the faces of their franchise not currently involved in the team’s resurgence, third baseman, David Wright. The perennial All-Star is expected back from the DL shortly after the All-Star break. Wright has the balance of $14 million left on his contract for the 2011 season, is due $15 million in 2012 and the Mets hold a $16 million option for the 2013 season with a $1 million buyout if the don’t exercise it.
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The theory here is that Wright’s contract is not an exorbitant in the eyes of many franchises yet clearly a burden for the cash-strapped Mets. Wright’s contract it certainly one that many MLB teams would be willing to take on as the 28-years old is in the prime of his career. However, the removal of $7 million left on this year’s deal plus $31 million due the next two years would free up more than $35 million to be added towards a new contract for Jose Reyes, a player that Mets fans have been begging ownership in public to keep.
David Wright has been an All-Star each of the past five seasons and as a home grown favorite, has long been viewed along with Reyes as part of the core of the Mets franchise. Given ownership’s financial troubles however, it’s believed that the Mets will not be able to keep the left side of the infield intact going forward. If that is indeed the case and the Mets are left to choose between keeping Wright or resigning Reyes, the Mets would clearly be able to get more in return for trading the All-Star third basemen because an acquiring team would be able to have Wright under contract for two years at a known reasonable price.
So what should the Mets do, play it out in a mad dash for the NL Wild Card? Trade Reyes? Trade Beltran? Trade F-Rod? Trade all of them or some combination? Trade Wright? I don’t know that there is one right answer in this case as while a run for the Wild Card may seem appropriate at the moment, it might be a regrettable move going forward based on the Mets payroll restrictions going forward.
This is turning out to be one of the more compelling stories of the 2011 MLB season and bears watching as trade of David Wright would not only have an effect on the Mets franchise but could potentially alter the pennant race landscape.
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