For Mets, Wright situation is nothing like Reyes situation
The Mets will not consider trading star third baseman David Wright and will instead make a real effort to lock him up long-term.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon may have taken an uncharacteristic and frankly shocking slap at Wright last year with his comment to The New Yorker that Wright isn't a superstar. But Wright's support among high-level Mets people generally is extremely strong. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon long has been a Wright backer, for instance.
Two things you can count on: 1) Wright isn't going anywhere in trade this summer, and 2) the Mets will try to lock up Wright to a longterm deal, if not this season than this winter.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson agreed with my text to him that it would take something "extraordinary'' and "unforeseen'' for Wright to be traded this summer. Loosely translated, that means he ain't going anywhere. The only reason they give themselves even the slightest bit of opening is they understandably don't want to be seen as liars in the event something "extraordinary'' and "unforeseen'' does happen.
Fred Wilpon's comment notwithstanding, Mets people love Wright. More than once one of them has been heard to call Wright "Our Jeter.'' If that's the way they feel, he's not going anywhere in trade. The Mets hold a team option for $16 million for next year which they will surely exercised provided no long deal is struck beforehand.
The Wall St. Journal suggested the team would try to sign him long-term, and that surely is the case. Since they wouldn't trade him, that is the best alternative, though the timing of their offer isn't yet clear. They probably wanted to see something this year after he had a rare injury-affected year last year. And boy have they ever, as Wright is one of two players in the majors hitting .400 (he's hitting exactly .400).
That absence last year not withstanding, in comparison to Reyes Mets people view Wright as the more reliable player and team leader. While they never seriously considered trading Reyes (of course he was hurt at the deadline in July), it's also true, as Reyes has recounted, the Mets made a less-than-aggressive try to keep him. The Mets suggested an incentive-laden contract with a five-year guarantee after he was already close to signing his $106-million, six-year deal with the Marlins. Of course, Mets ownership has untangled itself from the messiness of the Madoff situation since then.
But the main difference between the Reyes and Wright situations is the players themselves. There's no way the Mets would let Wright go to a division rival. Alderson also can't help but love Wright's baseball-best .489 on-base percentage to go with the National League-best batting average. For all his many great strengths, Reyes' career on-base percentage is only a decent .341.
Mets people did not react positively to Ryan Zimmerman's $100-million, six-year extension as Zimmerman has been a much greater injury concern than Wright in their careers, never mind the fact Wright has been slightly more productive offensively. Whether they like it or not, Zimmerman's extension probably set the baseline for the Wright negotiations.
If not Zimmerman, then Reyes did. Seeing as how the Mets favor Wright by a mile over Reyes, it's hard to see how they convince him to stay for much less than the $106 million Miami gave to Reyes, who never was their Jeter.