New York Mets: David Wright Injured

Aug 3, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets injured third baseman David Wright (5) looks on from the dugout during a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 3, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets injured third baseman David Wright (5) looks on from the dugout during a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Mets third baseman and face of the franchise David Wright is already catching the injury bug.

On July 3rd, 2016, an article was published on this site that posed two possible reasons why the New York Mets signed third baseman David Wright in the fall of 2013; was it for him to be a star player, or was the signing a marketing scheme to help the Mets in ways such as selling merchandise and keeping ticket sales up? As we approach the start of the 2017 regular season, reports have come out that Wright has been shut down from throwing activities for at least two weeks with his status for opening day unknown.

The year that Wright signed his eight-year, $138 million contract was also his first year with a major injury; he sustained a hamstring injury in early August of 2013. He missed the remainder of the season.

That offseason, he signed his long-term contract. The vibe around the organization was that the now revered man would return from his injury better than ever before. In 2014, Wright played 22 more games than the prior year; in 134 games, he hit .269 with 30 doubles and 63 RBI. That sounds positive right? He has seven more years to improve on where he was in 2014 and lead the Mets to a championship, right? Wrong. Wright’s batting average of .269 was his lowest since 2011 when he only played 102 games due to injury. He committed 15 errors, his most since 2011. Finally, Wright finished the season with a career low eight home runs and was left off the National League All Star team for only the third time in 10 years.

Putting 2014 in perspective for Wright, we can see it was a deep and rapid decline. That would continue into 2015 and 2016.

In those two years combined, Wright played in 75 regular season games. In two years, he had 12 home runs and 31 RBI. He did manage to play in the World Series that year; in Game 1, Wright committed an error in the 14th inning that lost the Mets the game. However, in Game 4, he redeemed himself with his first World Series home run along with going 2-4 with 4 RBI.

After reading the information and statistics provided, it would be a logical claim to say the first three years of Wright’s massive contract have been a failure. The only positive impact Wright has had on New York is in leadership and off-the-field class. On the contrast, he has sucked up millions of dollars and has little high quality performance on the field to show for it.

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Having little success certainly does not make Wright a star, but he has not helped the Mets make money in aspects such as jersey sales either. When the contract was signed, there is no doubt the Mets intended for Wright to be an on-the-field star. Furthermore, they knew by signing a homegrown player to that large and lengthy of a contract, the fans would be more inclined to buy jerseys, tickets, etc.

The contract has worked out in the worst possible way for the Mets; they could not have imagined this would go any worse. When the Mets signed the contract, it is plausible to think they believed Wright could play the role of both the star player and star marketer. Of course, it has not worked out that way.

The Mets have to look towards the future. A future without David Wright. At their core, New York and its fans love Wright. That said, a logical Mets fan knows the future of the organization that includes winning does not include David Wright sitting on the bench injured taking in millions of dollars. This Mets fan knows this future they yearn for resides in the farm system and in the young pitchers the Mets have.

It is impossible for David Wright to win his contract. First of all, he will never live up to the playing standards that kind of money suggests. Secondly, he will not be remembered as a marketer for the Mets because eventually, fans almost forget Wright is there when he is hurt.

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The best route for David Wright to make the most of his contract and reputation would to be retire immediately. He has enough money to live the rest of his life and would have little issue getting a broadcasting job in the future. Also, he will never be the player he once was; playing any longer is ruining the fond memories we have of him. Finally, the Mets can put his salary elsewhere to better a team that is playoff ready for 2017. At this point, being the man who set the team up for success by personal loss is the best way Wright could be remembered.