Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 10/5/12
Photo Taken by Michael Baron
With the off-season upon us, the New York Mets front-office can now begin the daunting task of trying to turn this club into a contender.  Honestly, I don’t see that happening in one off-season.  The club needs a new outfield, help in the pen, a starting catcher, Major League caliber players on its bench, and could even use another arm in the rotation.  So yes, they pretty much need a little of everything.  More importantly than all of the aforementioned needs and the first order of business for the Metsexuctives should be to re-sign the face of the franchise, All-Star third baseman David Wright.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, “Wright recently had described himself as extremely optimistic’ about his future with the Mets. Yet he cautioned not to infer from that comment that returning is a foregone conclusion,’ saying he realizes it is a business“:
I’ve really enjoyed my time here. We’ve obviously gone through some tough seasons. I’m not lying. I’ve really enjoyed it. I have a lot of really close friends … I enjoy it here. I enjoy New York. I feel like the fans and followers of the team really welcomed me with open arms. They’ve seen the ups and downs, obviously. And they’ve stuck right by me. And I’m appreciative. …Just like players do a lot of times what’s best for them, organizations sometimes have to do what’s best for them also. The ideal is you want to get a winning team on the field as quickly as possible. That’s the front office’s job to make those tough decisions. It would be tough for me personally. But, at the end of the day, I would understand.”
Even though I have entertained the thought of trading #5 in conversations with other Mets fans, the fan in me wants nothing more than for him to remain a Met for the rest of his career. That said, Tim Marchman of the Wall Street Journal makes a pretty strong case for why the Mets should consider trading the 29-year-old this off-season, saying:
A going-nowhere team like the Mets has every reason to move a valuable player like Wright for young talent. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, it no longer will be possible for one team to seriously outbid others for amateur draft picks or international prospects. Recent successes like Matt Harvey aside, the Mets don’t have a great record of scouting or developing players, so if they want good, cheap young ones around whom to build a winner, some of them are probably going to have to come from outside the organization.  …There are really only two reasons not to trade Wright. One is that it would damage the team’s hopes of contending during what’s left of his prime, but they don’t have any. The other is that it would outrage fans and leave Citi Field quieter than a toaster, but as the Journal has reported, it already is. The only way to win back the public will be to win, and even if the Wilpon family announces tomorrow that the team has been sold to a mad Russian oil tycoon, that’s going to take a couple of years, by which time Wright likely won’t be what he was.
Photo by Michael G. Baron
All of this is cold, but so is baseball: Mathewson, Ruth and Seaver all moved on from New York, and sooner or later, so Will Wright. If the Mets trade him now, it won’t undo any of what he’s already done, which is enough to establish him as the sort of player who ought to have a statue made of him when he finally ends his career, and it certainly won’t harm him a bit. The man turns 30 in December, and unless he turns out to be a Jeter-like freak, he probably has only two or three years of real stardom left in him.
It might be nice to see him spend them in a place where fans turn up to the ballgames, and cheer when they do.”
During the seasons final week, Wright became the Mets all-time hit leader, surpassing Ed Kranepool’s longstanding record of 1418 hits.  I can vividly remember chatting with friends about how good this kid, David Wright, could be. When he ripped a double down the third base line off Montreal Expos starter Zach Day on June 22, 2004 — his first career hit — who could have imagined celebrating his accomplishment as the franchise hit leader just nine years later. It seems like yesterday we were talking about a prospect from Virginia and his potential.  Now,  in what seems the blink of an eye, he finishes 2012 as the franchise leader in hits (1426).

The best player on the team.  The face of the franchise.  The guy who gives this team an advantage over the competitions’ counterpart almost every game.   It is truly amazing how fast time goes by and when I watched David Wright standing on second base after his record breaking single, tipping his cap, wide grinned while receiving a standing ovation, I realized just how much I want the Mets to resign him.
I may have mentioned in discussions with others that I could tolerate the idea of trading Wright and I can’t say I disagree with anything Marchman states in his post.  But the truth is this; I would be crushed if he is not on this team for the long haul.  I can fool others, but I can’t fool myself.  I don’t care how much sense trading him might make when it comes to ‘the big picture’, there are other ways to rebuild this team and it can be done with Wright as a cornerstone, not a piece of trade bait.  He is one of us. He is our captain. Our home grown hero. And seeing him in another uniform would be a crime.  With that said, the first order of business this off-season should be for Sandy Alderson to champion his owners to pony up the money necessary to extend David Wright’s contract. END OF STORY.
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