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The Case For Trading David Wright

Back in 2006 the thought of trading David Wright would’ve been met with scoff and laughter.  It would’ve been akin to today pondering if Evan Longoria should be moved from the Rays or Josh Hamilton traded away from the Rangers.  It was a given then that David Wright, homegrown New York Met would live his entire baseball career in Queens playing alongside Jose Reyes for as long as he wanted to and his body would allow.

But the reality is that it is 2011 and Wright’s stay in NY is no longer a given.  Today, the thought of trading Wright is no longer a ridiculous or far fetched idea.  Today, the argument for trading David Wright has gained traction and much unexpected weight in light of today’s New York Mets and in light of his performance the past five years.

Yet, there are still plenty of reasons to keep him as the face of this franchise and core part of a NY Mets winning future that may still one day become reality.  Below are some of the reasons that make up the case to saying goodbye to David Wright.

  • Unable to lead team into postseason – Only 1 playoff appearance – obviously Wright cannot be blamed alone for the collapses of the franchise nor the numerous injuries befallen to his comrades, nevertheless his team has only tasted the playoffs once during his tenure and as a central figure he is responsible in part for this failure.  If you can lose with David Wright, you can also lose without him.
  • Does not produce in the clutch – Perhaps the strongest and most common heard argument from Wright detractors is David’s inability to come through when it counts.  This is a very subjective argument being that his lifetime statistics do not support this theory – his lifetime average in late & close games, tied or within 1 or 2 runs is right around .300 but yet it appears to many as if he isn’t clutch.  Some other statistics might shed some light on this perception such as his numbers against division rivals like the Phillies where his average-against is a pedestrian .273 with 109 strikeouts (Wright’s highest strikeout total versus any MLB team) or the Braves, where he’s hit .261 with 99 strikeouts.  The fact that the Mets play these teams so many times in a season does not help Wright’s showing and despite his official clutch stats not being horrible, the perception of Wright failing when most needed still looms large on his reputation.
  • Ever increasing strike out rate– This is supported by 7 straight 100 strikeout seasons where the K season total has been increasing from 115 to 118 to 140 and up to a career high last season of 161.  The inability to put the ball in play is downright cancerous to a lineup that plays in an unforgiving ballpark like Citi Field and making the 3 hole in said lineup a feast or famine spot does not bode well for the team’s overall offensive future.
  • Would Mets be smart to trade David Wright?

    Makes too many errors – Led all MLB 3rd basemen in errors in 2010 with 20.  For a team that relies on pitching and defense this is another sign that perhaps Wright would be better suited on a different team that can better survive defensive miscues.

  • CitiField – One of the strangest stat totals in recent times is David Wright’s homerun total in 2009 where he inaugurated Citi Field by hitting 4 homeruns all year out of the new ballpark.  What is even more alarming ever since Wright managed to get his homerun figures back to norm is his constant comments about Citi Field, how big it is and how difficult it is too hit there.  It shows that the ballpark is in his head and this may play a huge role in how he continues his career with the Mets.  The ballpark isn’t going anywhere any time soon; the question is whether David will.  And if he goes after 2012 when he becomes a free agent unlike what the prevalent thought of 2006 was, this may not be a bad outcome after all is said and done for the NY Mets.

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