In November of 2012, David Wright agreed to an eight-year, $138 million contract extension. It was created to keep Wright in a Mets uniform through the 2020 season.
As the hot stove season has officially begun and the Mets are trying to build upon their World Series appearance, decisions will be made. Neil Walker was acquired from the Pirates to play second base. Asdrubal Cabrera was signed to a two-year contract to play shortstop. The Mets have made the decision to move on from Daniel Murphy and also seem likely to have made the choice to not make a run at free-agent Yoenis Cespedes. After being acquired on July 31, Cespedes hit .287 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs in 57 games. He brought a big right-handed bat to the line-up and was an immediate presence the Mets have not seen in quite sometime. Cespedes changed the Mets.
Over the weekend, Michael Cuddyer called it a career and decided to walk away from some, if-not-all of the $12.5 million that he was going to be paid in 2016. So that theoretically has given the Mets some more money to play with. It does not seem like the Mets are willing to invest long-term in Cespedes. They do not trust him like they once did with Wright. When Wright signed his contract extension, he was coming off of a year in which he played 156 games. He hit .306 with 21 HR and 93 RBIs. Since then, out of a possible 486 games, he has played only 284 games, has hit only 31 HR and has driven in only 138 runs. He has hit .306, .269 and .289.
In 2015, Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and that is something he will not only have to deal with the rest of his playing days, but also long after his playing days are over. There was no question, at the time, that the $38 million dollars looked like a wise investment. The Mets decided as a franchise that he deserved the money over his former teammate Jose Reyes. Wright is now 32-years-old and is due to make $20 million dollars next season. He is supposed to be an impact right-handed bat. He is the captain of the team. He is supposed to be what Cespedes was and conceivably could be in the future: a game-changer. Unfortunately, he has not resembled that player in quite some time.
Even though he is the captain and the face of the franchise, Wright's production does not match the money he makes. The Mets are no monger a free spending team and have not been since their bottom line was greatly affected by the Bernie Madoff scandal. So as the Mets look for a right-handed impact bat, know that it was supposed to be Wright. Wright was going to be the presence that made everyone in the line-up better. He was supposed to be clutch. He was the constant and was very consistent but has not been that since. Now the debate surrounds just how many games he will actually be healthy enough to play in.
So, as we circle back to the off-season and fans clamor for the Mets to sign Cespedes, the question remains. What are you going to get?
You thought you knew with Wright, but it hasn't paid off. If the Mets don’t trust Cespedes, they can’t sign him to a long term contract. It is that simple.