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If David Wright plays in 2018, it will be a wonderful surprise

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The captain has a long road ahead of him

MLB: New York Mets-Workouts Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There are lots of scenarios that Mets fans are hoping for this year: 30+ starts from a few of their young arms, a playoff berth for the third time in four years, the shoulder of Michael Conforto to be 100% healed when he returns. But, perhaps, none are as far-fetched, nor as heartfelt, as their desire to see David Wright play again in a Mets uniform.

Wright hasn’t played 40, let alone 100, games since the 2014 season, where he hit .269/.324/.374 in 134 games. When Wright was on the field in 2015 and 2016, he was a diminished, but still quite useful, player. still showing above-average power, even if his other skills had diminished.

Injuries are what caused his once-Hall of Fame trajectory career to come crashing down to Earth. The most serious of these was his 2015 diagnosis of spinal stenosis, a degenerative back condition that required Wright to do extensive pre-game preparation and would never truly heal.

In conjunction with or, perhaps due to, the stenosis, Wright required surgery on both a herniated disc in his neck in 2016, and rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder in 2017. Wright’s neck surgery healing incorrectly led to a shoulder impingement which kept Wright out of action before the rotator cuff surgery, leading to his first fully missed season of his career.

With the signing of Todd Frazier, the Mets have, essentially, prepared themselves for the reality that Wright probably, if not likely, will not play for them this season. While he has still not begun baseball activities, Wright is still actively trying to make a return to the field.

If this were almost any other player, fans would likely be calling for Wright’s retirement. But Wright is a special player in New York, only the fourth captain in team history, and one of the most beloved and respected players in the 50+ years of the Mets. He is truly a franchise player, and one that will likely get standing ovations at Citi Field for the rest of his life. He’s one of us, and that makes all of this so much sadder.

Wright is signed through 2020, and is set to make $20 million this season.