It’s time for the Mets to move on from their captain. As much as we all love David Wright, he just can’t continue to play the game. For the Mets organization to hold out hope year in and year out that he’ll be able to stay relatively healthy and contribute to this team is just foolish. It’s a false sense of hope that we all hold when it comes to Captain America. The fact of the matter is that Wright’s injuries are bordering near career ending.
Going into the 2016 season, the expectation seemed to parallel reality. The Mets hoped to get around 100-120 games out of David Wright which, at the time, seemed somewhat plausible. Maybe teetering toward optimistic, but plausible. Now that Wright has decided to undergo season ending surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck, the question must be asked, is this the end? It seems so. Normally there are hoops and obstacles for a team to overcome before they can outright cut ties with a guy. Take the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez for example. Between his suspensions and injuries, the Yankees would have loved to just cut ties with him two years ago. However, his full guaranteed contract kept them from doing so. It just doesn’t make sense to pay a guy’s salary when he’s not even a part of the team anymore. Especially when you have to go out and pay another guy to take his place at the same time. In the Mets case with David Wright, his contract is insured for injury. When the Mets signed Wright to an eight year, $138 million extension in 2013, they insured his contract for injuries. If Wright were to miss 60 days due to injury, the Mets would recoup 75% of his salary. After missing 115 games last season, Wright is now on track to miss 125 games this year meaning once again, the Mets will recoup that money. Given the state of his body and his contract, it may not be as painful to let him go and stop relying on him to be the third baseman for the New York Mets anymore.
If the Mets do decide to find a replacement for Wright this year, it would behoove them to find a long term solution. Even if Wright doesn’t retire, he can not be relied upon to play even 50 games a year due to his injuries, which is just not enough for a team with championship aspirations. With the Mets recouping 75% of Wrights contract once again, they have a little more money to play with than maybe they thought. Given that fact, Cuban sensation Yulieski Gurriel may be an option for the Mets. Current Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has already vouched for Gurriel saying that he can definitely play at this level but he’s going to cost a lot of money based on contracts lesser Cuban players have received. Cespedes was a teammate and close friend of Gurriel when the two players were in Cuba together. If the Mets don’t want to open the checkbook for a multi-million dollar contract, they could look to maybe make a trade for a player who’s under control for a few years. Someone like Yangervis Solarte, who is currently on a rebuilding Padres team, is under contract through the 2019 season and is a solid piece. He could be another long term solution for the Metropolitans.
Whatever the Mets decide to do, they should do it soon. This is a team with a historic pitching staff and it would be a downright shame to waste that because of the inability to score runs. Captain America isn’t walking through that door anytime soon and the Mets anemic offense needs help. This season is a mirror image of last so far in regards to the offensive numbers. Actually, the Mets offense is worse off this year than it was last. The biggest difference between this year and last year and the main cause for the sense of urgency is the fact that the Washington Nationals look like they have figured it out. They have put all of that talent together and built themselves into a well oiled machine. The Mets can’t afford to fall too far back from Washington if they want any chance of winning their division. If they’re unable to win their division, they’ll fight for a spot in a one game playoff in the National League Wild Card game. The clock is ticking on the Mets. As they struggle to stay afloat, the Nationals are soaring. The Mets need to pull the trigger and get an impact player to step into that lineup and help out right away. If not, another year of this incredible pitching staff may be wasted.
Image from: http://fansided.com/2013/10/04/new-york-mets-david-wright-photobombs-kate-upton-justin-upton-b-j-upton-photo/