Mid-Season Trade Candidates for 2012—David Wright

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It’s obvious that David Wright is a topic for discussion and a potential trade chip for the Mets to bring back some talent and clear salary.

This has nothing to do with websites who claim to have “sources” saying that Wright is about to be traded. Needless to say, they’re dubious; but that doesn’t alter the fact that Wright could be on the move by mid-season 2012.

The Mets finances are an ongoing catastrophe; you’ll get a good sense of where the Wilpons are and where they’re going here in today’s NY Times. But for now, Wright is the remaining link to the contending Mets teams of 2006-2008; he plays a difficult to fill position; and when he’s healthy, he’s still a dangerous, all-around threat at the plate.

The Mets are in a tough situation with Wright in more ways than just financial.

Wright is under contract for 2012 at $15 million and has a club option for 2013 at $16 million. If the Mets trade him, he can (and will) void the option and become a free agent; if they keep him for 2013, they can still trade him, but at that point, the team will have their ownership mess settled whether it’s with the Wilpons (increasingly unlikely) or some new, deep-pocketed person who’ll be in a better position to spend money on players and presumably would want to keep Wright.

His subpar performances in recent years with rising strikeouts and declining defense make him less attractive than he would’ve been if he were playing as he did from 2005-2008.

With the new, shortened dimensions at Citi Field, perhaps he becomes the Wright of 2007. If that’s the case and the Mets are, as expected, out of contention by June, they’re going to have to at least examine the market for Wright.

Will it be worth it for them to hold onto him? What will the trading team be willing to give up for a pending free agent and would he sign an extension to preclude free agency? Would a change-of-scenery to a contender return him to MVP form?

If a team traded for him now, they’d have him for the entire 2012 season, but they don’t know what they’re getting. It doesn’t help that he missed 58 games in 2011 with a back injury.

It’s not a simple matter of “dump him”.

There are three scenarios where Wright will be traded: A) they’re knocked over with an offer; B) the team is so horrific that there are no fans showing up to the park that it makes no sense to keep Wright; or C) ownership orders GM Sandy Alderson to trade him.

My feeling is that they won’t trade Wright at all.

But those possibilities are real; the Mets situation is fluid; and Wright’s one-time status as a foundational player and face of the franchise is tenuous.

Teams will call. The Mets have to listen to what they have to say and think about it very, very seriously before making a decision.

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