In an interesting article written by former GM Jim Bowden for ESPN.com, Bowden diagnoses the current health of the relationship between the New York Mets and their all world third basemen.
The article brings to light the current contract extension negotiations New York is engaged in with Wright and how that could grow into a volatile situation in which the Mets might consider listening to trade offers for Wright versus resigning him. Bowden also goes on to point out a short list of teams that could be potential suitors for Wright’s services and the Diamondbacks made Bowden’s list.
Citing their current stock of young arms, Bowden believes the D’Backs have pieces that could attract interest from New York. The article talks about someone like Diamondbacks prospect Trevor Bauer being a key piece in any kind of deal for Wright. Bowden suggests that the Mets would be best suited to also ask for outfield prospect Adam Eaton in addition to Bauer in any deal for Wright.
Any team’s fans would have to get excited about any mention of a player the caliber of David Wright joining their team. Defensively, Wright has been known as one of the best 3B in baseball as a 2 time Gold Glove winner at the hot corner. Offensively, he’s a .301 hitter in his 9 year career, amassing 204 HR, 818 RBI, and a .887 OPS in that span. From an intangibles standpoint, Wright has been known as a leader both in the clubhouse and on the field, something that any team would welcome. Laying all these facts out, why would this work for Arizona and how does it happen?
Arizona has been looking for a 3B that can flash the leather ever since the purple and teal days of Matt Williams. The position had produced some offense in that span with guys like Mark Reynolds, Troy Glaus, and Chad Tracy, none of which posed as “dual threats” with the glove and the bat, nor did they prove to be long term mainstays at a critical position. As previously mentioned, Wright has won 2 Gold Gloves and is known as one of baseball’s best third basemen. Wright would be a considerable upgrade defensively over existing options of Chris Johnson or Ryan Wheeler.
Offensively, Wright would be an excellent compliment to Arizona’s existing lineup bringing solid run production. There has been much discussion about Wright’s power numbers since the construction of Citi Field and how the park’s measurements didn’t exactly fit Wright’s power strength. A move to the hitter friendly confines of Chase Field could yield a hitter of Wright’s caliber a 35-40 HR season. A scary bat like Wright’s could fit nicely in the heart of the Arizona lineup giving them a potent lineup rivaling any in the NL West.
Quite possibly the biggest reason why David Wright would work well for Arizona has much more to do with the intangibles he possesses than his talent with the glove and the bat. Wright has been known for his impeccable character and leadership skills and could be the very veteran presence the organization needs to facilitate the growth and development of its younger talent. Very similar to the leadership role that Matt Williams held with the team in early in its inception that led to their World Series run in 2001.
The biggest question in any potential deal for David Wright has little to do with what he brings to the table, or whether or not Arizona has pieces to offer, it has to do with the financial side of things. Wright’s value has been rumored considerably north of $100 million, a number that Arizona may not be able to get involved with. Two years ago, Arizona was close to a deal for White Sox first basemen and valley resident, Paul Konerko. At the time, Diamondbacks brass stated that a player of Konerko’s caliber didn’t come around too often and that they were willing to “open up the wallet” in an attempt to lure the big hitting Konerko. Without speculating salary numbers, it would appear that Arizona could have a tough time making a deal work for Wright. But if there were ever a time to consider “opening up the wallet”, David Wright would be one of those types of players you would have to make a move on.