Mets

By The Numbers: Is David Still Wright For Mets?

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(credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

(credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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By Father Gabe Costa
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A few weeks ago, Mr. Brian Guetti appeared as a guest blogger, discussing the 2012 Yankees. In this episode of By The Numbers, he goes cross-town and muses on the question: “Should the Mets trade David Wright?”

Brian Guetti: In the Post-Minaya era of the New York Mets (a time where big-name free agent signings with questionable contracts are unthinkable, e.g. K-Rod, Pedro, Beltran, Johan, Bay) this key question has arisen. The Mets desperately needed a change of fiscal policy after it became apparent that Citi Field (and to an extent the team that plays there) was as attractive to the Mets fans as a poke in an already sore eye, summed up in one “sure-thing” pop out to Luis Castillo.

The Mets we knew too well, the “other” team in the city, had one exciting player: Jose Reyes. The oft-injured “face-of-the-franchise,” David Wright – by whom the Mets lived and died – epitomized all hope… yet it was hard to imagine Wright without being in touching distance of a trainer’s table.

For 2012, the Mets have young faces, no Reyes, and a general consensus that they will not be able to compete with the dominant Phillies, the new-look Miami Marlins, a consistent Atlanta Braves squad, and a Nationals team that is improving.

Wright has become the topic of debate. What do the Mets do with him? Do they keep him around? Can they trust that he will be healthy for a full season? Should they trade him now before they have to stomach the thought of whether to pay him $16 million for a 2013 option?

Realistically, Wright is capable of being at least a .300 hitter; he has above-average power, and hits a good number of doubles. While it can be argued that he is sub-par defensively, he is showcased with an occasional highlight moment (see: barehanded catch). A player of this quality is worth his contract. However, there have been “ups-and-downs” which have flummoxed Wright (and every Mets fan!) over the past few years. Why has he been so inconsistent? Why did he go from being a home run hitter to a singles hitter…then back to hitting near 30 home runs in 2010 to barely hitting .250 last year? Must it be Citi Field? Must it be the injuries?

The truth is, he may just be extremely inconsistent. Wright’s numbers over the past four years are given below:

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2008

160

735

626

115

189

42

2

33

124

15

5

94

118

.302

.390

.534

.924

2009

144

618

535

88

164

39

3

10

72

27

9

74

140

.307

.390

.447

.837

2010

157

670

587

87

166

36

3

29

103

19

11

69

161

.283

.354

.503

.856

2011

102

447

389

60

99

23

1

14

61

13

2

52

97

.254

.345

.427

.771

From this, we see that Wright may be due for a bounce back year, provided he is healthy and the fences are moved in. There is reason for optimism here in that that the Mets will retain their franchise player.

Considering the state of the rest of the team, however, it might be smart to ship him for “pieces” that can grow up together, much like when the Mets had a young Wright and a young Reyes.

The problem with Wright, at the moment, is that his value is extremely low, so what the Mets might want to try is to see that if he gains any value in the first half of the season, if he is playing well and the team is not doing well, it may very well be obvious to everyone, not just Sandy Alderson, that Wrights’ tenure as a Met should end.

On the other hand, if Wright does not produce or if he gets injured again, then the Mets will have another year of this “limbo.”

The worst case scenario, of course, is that it would be a severe blow to the organization and its fans if they let Wright walk and get nothing in return.

There will one day be bluer skies for Mets fans and it is only a matter of time before some of these home-grown “pieces” end up producing and staying on the field (Ike Davis hopefully).

And they are still ultimately better off than they were with Omar Minaya as General Manager in terms of stability.

Should the Mets trade Wright for prospects? Be heard in the comments below…

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