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Where Do Mets Go At Third Base After David Wright’s Surgery?

This past Thursday, New York Mets third baseman David Wright underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck in California. Early reports from Mets manager Terry Collins has Wright out for “quite a while” as Wright had a cervical discectomy and fusion done to his neck. With Wright possibly out for the remainder of the season, the Mets need to start looking for long-term solutions to the position and not just stopgaps. General Manager Sandy Alderson thought in terms of the best case scenario concerning Wright and now he has to think for the rest of the season and maybe even beyond.

So where do the Mets go from here? There are a few options internally that could solve this problem. There are also outside options in trades and/or free agency that the team can pull the trigger on also. The trade option may require shipping off one or more of their young players in the minors for a rental player but the Mets may not have choice. Let’s look at some of the options that Mets have.

Look Internally In The Organization

One of the choices the Mets have is to look within the current team. As of late, Wilmer Flores has been holding down third base and to some success. Flores is hitting .366 in the month of June and while that is a good sign, Flores could be one of the streakier players on the team so long-term, Flores may not be the safest answer to third base for the rest of the season.

Another option is moving players around the diamond. It was reported that after Wright’s surgery was announced, second basemen Neil Walker told Collins that he would be willing to play some third base. While the sentiment is great, Walker hasn’t played third base since 2010. If Collins was to take Walker up on his offer that would leave second base vacant and another domino would drop. That domino would be the Mets calling up Dilson Herrera.

The 22-year old has had a few cups of coffee in the major leagues but now seems to be the time for Herrera to be called up, possibly for good. He’s hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI’s with Las Vegas and while his bat has improved dramatically in the last year, his glove has always been the appeal of Herrera. He has only four errors in over 442 innings of play so far this season. Dilson Herrera is the future and for the Mets, the future may be now. On to the other option.

Making A Trade Or Signing A Free Agent:

The more obvious answer that the Mets may look into would be making a trade. Possible names include:

Yunel Escobar (LAA): .306, 3 HR’s, 18 RBI’s, .765 OPS, 11 Errors $7.5 million salary with team option for 2017

Danny Valencia (OAK): .331, 10 HR’s, 26 RBI’s, .927 OPS, 10 Errors, Arbitration Eligible in 2017, $3.15 million salary

Aaron Hill (MIL): .265, 7 HR’s, 22 RBI’s, .766 OPS, 2 Errors, Final Year of 5-year, $46 million contract

These names are upgrades over what the Mets have right now as those three names adds a bit of offense to the lineup, especially Valencia. The downside to Valencia and Escobar are that they are liabilities defensively, something that the Mets and their pitching staff does not need. Any of these three players could be a good addition for the Mets but the price tag must not be grand theft on the part of the other team. The Mets have a pretty good minor league system right now and you don’t want panic to set in and have one trade deplete the talent you have in the minors.

Another option that has been mentioned in the last few days has been Cuban free agent Yulieski Gourriel. The 32-year old, who has played both third and second, is someone that would fill the immediate need the Mets have but he is asking for at least a four-year deal and big money, something the Mets may not be willing to do. The high price tag aside, his numbers make him appealing as Gourriel is a career .335 hitter in his 15-year career. With some money coming off of the books after this season in Bartolo Colon ($7.25 million), Alejandro De Aza ($5.25 million) and Neil Walker ($10.5 million), the investment in Gourriel may not as steep as the Mets may believe. Not to mention that if Wright misses the rest of the season, 75% of Wright’s salary would be recovered through insurance according to Ken Rosenthal which could help the Mets pay for a Gourriel signing.

Needless to say the Mets must make a decision about what they are going to do about their third base situation. Flores isn’t the answer and even though Kelly Johnson is a good hand to have, he is not going to come in, start and be successful. They have a little time to get their house in order but the clock is ticking for the New York Mets to solve their third base quandary.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow writer Jason Cordner.
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