While I've enjoyed watching David Wright play for the Mets the past few years, and while he's certainly a very good player, I understand the arguments that it is time to listen to offers for him. He's been ¨the face of the franchise¨, but given the results the past few years, is that a good thing? The losing hasn't been his fault--he's given his utmost. But I've been thinking about the following points a lot recently:
1. Wright will turn 29 in December. The Mets control his age 29 and age 30 seasons, via his current contract and option.
2. The Mets realistically won't truly contend for the playoffs in this division before 2014, after Wright's contract is up. Maybe the end of 2013, but that would be if everything went our way, and when was the last time that happened?
3. His contract will come up for renewal for his year 31-35 seasons, clearly the decline phase for most players, and he will command big money. Do we want to pay for his decline years?
4. If the Mets trade him now (or mid-season if he's hot) could they get prospects who would be ready when our in-house prospects are establishing themselves and/or hitting their prime? Or young players who already have a foothold in the majors who can be established contributors when the rest of our prospects arrive/mature? (I'm thinking a Chad Bettis (p)+ Nathan Arenold (3B) type package or prospects, or another package based around a strong catcher and pitching).
5. When Wright says that his back is still stiff in the mornings, that makes me nervous. I went through the 30 year-old barrier a long time ago, and know from personal experience how nagging pains drag on you as you get older. How will this affect his on-field production?
6. These same arguments apply regardless of money available. Even if the Mets had the money now, I don´t think the parts to make the team ready to challenge for the playoffs in 2012 are available, either via trade or FA.
I recognize that the lineup would be weaker in the short-term without him (depending what we got back in trade, of course), and that there is an additive effect due to lineup protection and his loss might affect Davis/Duda/Bay. But that would be for years when we´re not likely to be competitive anyway. I strongly believe that the basis for any team is pitching much more than offense. The more top talent we can acquire to go along with Wheeler/Harvey/ Familia/Mejia/et.al the better the chance of having guys stick in the majors and contributing when we're ready to be competitive again. If Reyes goes (and even if he stays), we're in a rebuilding stage, a major-retooling stage, or at the very least a waiting stage, mostly due to questions about the pitching staff. So looking toward the future and trying to view this objectively, I think it is time to listen to offers for Wright, and if the right package comes along, to pull the trigger on it. If the (W)right offer doesn´t come along, hang onto him until it does. But at least listen.