Originally posted on Metstradamus  |  Last updated 8/14/12



Thank you, David Wright. You did more to help the Mets franchise than you'll ever know.

In an interview with the Post, Wright revealed his priorities for the rest of his baseball life:

"The money issue for me, I don’t think that will be the deciding factor. You want to be able to win, and I’ve only experienced a little bit of that here. In a perfect world, we get this thing turned around and going in the right direction and ultimately I get to experience the bad, the ugly and the good here, which includes winning."

Translated: Get me help.

If David Wright reversed course on this, and decided ultimately that he wanted to grab as much money as humanly possible, then good for him. I didn't blame Jose Reyes for leaving. I've said that for months. I'm not going to blame David Wright for leaving either ... whatever the reason. After what he's done for the Mets franchise in terms of production, promotion, and playing with various broken bones, with the only thanks he gets being a New Yorker article, Wright has every right to bide his time for the next year and a half, say thank you, and move on. But Wright is sending a message here whether he intended to or not ... and I doubt that Wright is covert enough to send sub-messages through print interviews (like his boss is). But here it is in a nutshell: Get me help.

This isn't to say Wright is going to settle for a meager deal or a "hometown discount" just for it's own sake. In fact, as I play amateur psychologist with this article, one can read this and legitimately hope for one of those "hometown discounts" so long as Wright is signed long-term this off season and not when he actually hits free agency, when hope of all hometown discounts officially cease. But there's a catch. "You don't have to spend all your money on me. But the money you leave off my deal had better go towards helping out the rest of the roster, or perhaps getting some more protection for me in the lineup." Wright has had a long road going from having Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado protecting him to having Lucas Duda bat behind him. And it's amazing that Wright was able to produce at a high level this season with Ike Davis off the rails for the first two months of the season and Duda being a disappointment. Davis should return to form next season. But it can't be just Davis protecting Wright. And it sure as hell can't be Duda and Scott Hairston being depended on to do anything more than they're capable of.

Nobody is expecting the Mets to go out and sign the top free agents in the market, I doubt even Wright expects it or would require it. But there has to be a better plan than this. Getting Zack Wheeler was a good bit of planning. And maybe Wheeler and Matt Harvey will help convince Wright to stay just like Gooden and Darling convinced Keith Hernandez not to bolt to the Dodgers after the '83 season. But there has to be more. This is no different than what LeBron James did in Cleveland or what Kobe Bryant did in Los Angeles or what Paul Pierce did in Boston, or even what Dwight Howard did in Orlando for two years. They all requested help for the team. Bryant got Pau Gasol. Pierce got Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They stayed. Howard didn't get enough help, and he left. (LeBron also left but not for lack of trying.)

Granted, a lot of these questions will be answered under the framework of contracts that are killing them. Johan Santana and Jason Bay have buyouts for 2014.  That has to be the year that the Mets have to reshape themselves, and they have to convince Wright that 2014 is the season that he's going to get his help with the money that would have went to Santana and Bay if their contracts were worth picking up. Those two are probably going to be bought out for $8.5 million. If the club were to pick those contracts up, they would spend $42 million on the two of them. So that's $33.5 million dollars of the 2014 payroll that needs to be used to sign Wright and improve the club in other ways. Part of that goes to Wright. Part of that will go to players that are already on the roster. The rest of it, plus a little more if necessary, has to go toward some outside help. If not towards a crazy Omar-type contract then spread out to help get some serviceable bats to help Wright keep his production up for 2014, which would be the first year of Wright's new deal.

There also has to be some help for 2013 too, if for no other reason than to show David that they're serious about improving the club and not just about new food options in center field. Maybe the Mets are headed in that direction. Hell, it's probably coincidence that about 14 hours after the Post article hit the nets and just as I was writing this, the Mets acquired Kelly Shoppach from the Red Sox, which is a little late to help now but it might mean that Shoppach can be signed for next season if he can show that he can help out next season ... if not production wise (he's a career .227 hitter) than in being a good receiver who can be trusted to handle pitch calling and handle Wheeler and Harvey. It's a start. Hey, better late than never. There needs to be more.

A huge part of the responsibility will be on Sandy Alderson to be creative and remake the club to help Wright, and do so without gutting what exists of their farm system. But he can only do so much, as evidenced by the lack of a plan other than sign guys like D.J. Carrasco. Sandy has done okay considering the restraints he's obviously under. Wright throwing the gauntlet down whether he intended to or not basically puts the onus on the team to loosen the purse strings just a bit and improve the club incrementally. Now we'll know the true intentions of the Wilpons. Are they out to put a good product on the field? Or are they going to continue to use their legal problems, of which the worst is over .. so we're told, to cry poverty and continue to scrape the bottom of the barrel? And once we find out, then perhaps everyone will finally be convinced of who the common thread in all this garbage is. A good portion of the fan base used a bunt to turn on Jose Reyes and paint him as just another greedy athlete. After Wright's interview, it'll be extremely hard to do the same thing with him if he decides to leave. He's shown he's not all about money at a time when he has every right to be. All he's asking for is what we've all been asking for. Help. Help this team make it through 162 games with some leeway and not just 81 if everything goes right and nobody gets hurt. Who dares to say Wright doesn't deserve that?

Who dares to say Mets fans don't deserve that? 

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