David Wright to Red Sox?

david-wright-bosoxIn an article on Boston.com, Globe journalist Nick Cafardo wrote under the heading “Apropos of Nothing”:

Seems like David Wright is no longer a great fit for the Mets (because of Citi Field), but he would be for the Red Sox (because of Fenway)

With the Red Sox still looking for a third baseman to replace Mike Lowell, and the Mets in need of pitching (where the Bosox have depth), is there a possibility that Wright could be moved to Boston?

As loved as Wright is as a “face of the franchise”, the arrival of Jason Bay and re-signing of Jeff Francoeur would be enough to fill the public relations gap. It was Francoeur, after all, who played Santa at the team’s holiday party, and Francoeur who regaled writers with his quotable quotes and effervescent personality.

Further, Wright’s power drop is what necessitated the acquisition of Bay. Wright admitted publicly that he changed his hitting approach in reaction to cavernous Citi Field — and one can reasonably assume he will continue with the shortened stroke as long as the dimensions remain as they are. Paying $39M over the next three years for a singles hitter isn’t exactly a bargain — especially with backloaded contracts such as the ones given to Bay, Johan Santana, and Carlos Beltran rising.

Wright would be a nice fit in Fenway Park, however — what righthanded hitter wouldn’t, for that matter? Red Sox GM Theo Epstein values Wright’s discipline and high OBP, and could expect Wright’s power numbers to jump back to previous heights with a move to Fenway. It’s a no-brainer from Epstein’s point of view, with the only issue being the cost — what would it take to pry Wright from the Mets?

Certainly the package would have to be similar to what has been offered to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez, though the Mets would have to receive more “ready now” MLBers. In other words, instead of top prospects such as Casey Kelly, I think the negotiations would have to begin with Jon Lester, who at 25 is perhaps MLB’s best young lefthanded pitcher. Of course, the Bosox wouldn’t want to deal Lester, but would the Mets be willing to take, say, some combination of Clay Buchholz, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Manny Delcarmen, and Daniel Bard? Mike Lowell would likely be part of the deal as well, and depending on who else the Mets would want, the Sox might pay part or most of Lowell’s salary.

The Mets could pencil in Lowell as a 3B / 1B, but would be wise to also sign another corner infielder such as Hank Blalock as insurance. Better yet, they could pick up Adrian Beltre for an immediate defensive upgrade. The loss in offensive production would be balanced by the improvement in defense and pitching. In every trade you have to give up something to get something.

Calm down, folks — there’s little to no chance of the Mets trading David Wright. And I, for one, would like to see Wright remain in a Mets uniform for at least the next 10 years. But it’s the dead of winter — the ideal time to debate crazy propositions.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dave December 30, 2009 at 9:47 am
    Joe? Duuuuuuude……
  2. WrightPlay December 30, 2009 at 10:04 am
    Neveeeerrr is that trade gonna happen mets should just sign him for a 15 year contract
  3. isuzudude December 30, 2009 at 10:14 am
    I know this article is more conjecture than suggestion, but all you have to do is listen to an hour of WFAN and you’ll inevitably hear some Met fan call in and be 100% serious in their desire to trade Wright for anything ranging from prospects to Albert Pujols. So I’m going to take the approach of a person who is stone cold serious about not trading Wright and my analysis will be pointed at those people and not yourself, Joe.

    If this were the offseason after 2008, anyone with ideas about trading Wright would have been burned at the stake. He is the face of the franchise, the team leader in training, and the cornerstone of the future. Not to mention he’s a 30 HR/30 SB threat with 2 gold gloves and 2 silver slugger awards, all by the age of 25. Obviously, these type of players don’t grow on trees, and are not the type of players teams get the urge to want to trade. He is the ideal example of an untouchable.

    Now it’s the offseason after 2009, and we’ve endured the worst season Wright has had thus far in his career. His power disappeared, his strikeouts skyrocketed, and his defense stunk. And so, because Wright’s struggles are freshest in our minds, now is the time fans will find it easy to jump on board the bandwagon for trading Wright, citing his inability to hit at CitiField, his shattered confidence, and his quickly escalating contract dollar amounts. But the rationale behind this thinking is flawed, and I’d like to explain why.

    First of all, the cardinal rule of MLB Trading 101 is to not trade an all-star caliber player while his value is at its lowest point. Though true, David’s value could sink lower than what it is now, there’s no doubt that his current value is lower than at any other point in his career. And because of that decreased value, it is doubtful another team, like the Red Sox, are going to offer fair value in return for Wright. We can hope and wish and predict that the Sox would give up a package headlined by Buchholz or Lester or Bard, but seeing how Wright became a shell of his former self in ’09, I’m more inclined to believe the Sox would budge no further than to exchange a similar ‘fallen star’ for Wright, like Matsuzaka or Delcarmen, which is no where close to equal value. And their defense will be that Wright struggled with his power just as much on the road as at home in 2009, so who’s to know if CitiField is what actually stole Wright of his power, or if it was some deeper-rooted issue. But I wouldn’t doubt some desperate Met fans would still pull the trigger on that sort of trade, believing any sort of pitching is paramount to a singles hitter. That’s dangerous thinking if you ask me.

    Secondly, call it a gut instinct, but something tells me Wright won’t be a permanent 10 HR, 140 K albatross for the rest of his career. He is too young and too talented to be labeled as a “singles hitter” at this stage of his life. Just look back to 2005 when Carlos Beltran hit a meager .266 with 18 home runs. Since then he’s bounced back to boost his Met average to over .280 and averaged 33 home runs in the 3 seasons that followed. It’s been done before, so who’s to say Wright can’t do it, too?

    And that leads me to the third reason. Any trade of Wright now is purely reactionary to his poor 2009 numbers. No thought is being put in to how to fix his future or if the past year was simply a fluke; instead, it’s all about focusing on his recent past and dismissing him as a permanent headcase who is a lost cause. And this is not the proper mindset if you are in favor of wanting to trade what has been one of the top young talents in the game ever since he was called up from the minors. One subpar season should not demonize David Wright as a liability. At 26 Wright could still be finding himself and learning new things about his abilities, and still has PLENTY of gas left in the tank to rebound from the doldrums of 2009. Put in a healthy and productive lineup around him, which includes the recovering Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, as well as perhaps new additions like Jason Bay and Begie Molina, and I’d say the odds are pretty damn good that Wright will get back on track in 2010, and that any notion of trading him this offseason will be scoffed at when looked back upon next summer. I know the demand for pitching his high, but there are better ways of obtaining arms than trading away your most prized possession for less than face value.

  4. WrightPlay December 30, 2009 at 10:27 am
    I agre with this comment however there are other factors
    line protection was te biggest one beacause pitchers knowing if the walk wright they won’t have to deal with delgado in driving him in so the pitchers resulted in throwing the ball out of the strike zone which resulted in David to swing and Miss so he barely got a good pitch to bomb one with but his strikeout totals all skyrocketed because he tried to do
    to much with this pitches outside the strikezone because he knew there would be no big bat behind him to drive him in
    bottom line David Wright will return and show those who wanted to trade him what they woulda missed
  5. Tommy2cat December 30, 2009 at 10:56 am
    Less said, the better. Incomprehensible, to be kind.
  6. gary s. December 30, 2009 at 11:11 am
    keep d wright.. trade citicavern and shake shack for fenway park and a corporate suite to be named later.
  7. joejanish December 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm
    ‘dude – I don’t know that Wright is at his lowest value. He still hit .307 with a .390 OBP, 39 doubles, and 27 SBs, and he’s only one year removed from a Gold Glove. The only part of his offensive game that dropped dramatically was the HR total (which in turn affected the RBI total). Nearly every GM in baseball knows the HRs went down because he had no one around him and he changed his approach. It’s not like he’s Garrett Atkins.

    In addition, he’s 27 years old (about to go into his prime years), is relatively cheap, under control for the next 3 years, and has a squeaky-clean reputation. I think the Bosox would jump at the chance to make an offer, if he were available — and the Mets would receive far more than Dice K.

    Hopefully, it will never happen. But it’s fun to stir the pot.

  8. CatchDog December 30, 2009 at 1:36 pm
    I think David is a great talent. But right now, who would you rather have, Wright or Ryan Zimmerman?
  9. astromets December 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm
    I would rather have David Wright, of course. Zimmerman is no question better defensively now than Wright but only because he is more consistent. Wright can make all the same plays as Zim, I feel like most of his errors are throwing – and that can be related to the first baseman. Wright has been to the playoffs and been the goto man in the toughest city in the world. Zim has been the goto man, but isn’t even recognized in D.C. and has yet to show the combination of power, speed, average and patience that Wright has. True, Zim has dealt with the same lack of offensive support throughout his career as David did last year, when Zim finally had help, but at his best he still lacks the speed and patience David has had since his first full season.
    To solidify my point, last year was Wright’s worst and Zim’s best and Ryan still only finished with an OPS+ 10 points higher than Wright. He had 33 HRs to Wright’s 10.
    In Zim you have a more consistent, therefore, superior defender with similar power potential going forward – but less average and walks. So, a little better defense – now – for a little less offense, and certainly less speed makes it slight advantage Wright in my eyes; import a great defensive 1B and advantage is clearly Wright.
  10. astromets December 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm
    And yeah, people keep attributing Wright’s change in approach to Citi-field when it was more likely a result of the lack of offensive help around him; although either way he was still great until the team stunk.
    Consider that he has often been a slow starter power-wise; proof being that his fewest homers by month is April at 14 for his career(also his low month for average), that jumps to 24 in May and 28, 29 in August, September. Then in May 2009, as he would normally be coming out of his power funk, his support went down in stages. Wright actually still slugged .561 for May (1.040 OPS) and .529 for June (.961 OPS), at which point the reality of the team being out of contention likely set in and Wright just wasn’t the same after. Or maybe he was just tired from carrying the entire organization, not just the team, on his back.
    My point is, changed approach or not, Wright was still a dominating force until the team had completely caved around him.
  11. IveMetFan December 30, 2009 at 7:38 pm
    Just the thought of David Wright being traded should not enter the heads of anybody affiliated with the Mets. Including fans, media and bloggers. Are you serious with that post? David Wright is our FRANCHISE player. That would be like the equivalent to the Mets trading Tom Seaver to the Reds. Wright is the best thing to happen not only to the Mets but to baseball in the past decade. He is a solid player who knows how to talk to the media, always says the right things, and is a great role model. Sometimes trying to win at all costs isnt everything.
  12. WrightPlay December 31, 2009 at 12:31 am
    Well said but I know it’s random but mets are heavily weighted on the right side of the plate and should make a frenchy and some1 esle for the orioles Nick Markakis he is left handed better than frenchy and a 100 RBI guy even if he doesn’t get 20 hr”s every season
  13. WrightPlay December 31, 2009 at 12:38 am
    And how do u guys feel about Edison volquez
  14. Nick December 31, 2009 at 11:30 am
    That picture of D. Wright with the Bosox helmet on really needs to come down. He looks too good in it, for anybody to say “joe’s just fooling around with the hot stove. It’s not true!” That’s how the Nazis started…
  15. KD December 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm
    Wrightplay, could you please for the New Year, edit your posts and use punctuation? that would be great…thanks!!
  16. josh January 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    i actually wouldnt mind trading wright for lets say lester green and maybe chuck in delacarmen and 2 or 3 prospects = a done deal
  17. Gregory Rojas January 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    I would take advantage of the down season and try to extend him 5 more years at 60 millions.
  18. joejanish January 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm
    Josh – who is Lester Green? Do you mean Jon Lester? I don’t know anyone named Green currently in the Bosox organization. They had a utilityman named Nick Green but he’s a free agent now.

    Gregory – interesting idea. I doubt Wright’s agent would go for it but I like your idea of “buying low”, so to speak. I have absolute confidence that DWright will be worth the money over that commitment.

  19. WrightPlay January 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm
    What about Edison Volquez guys wasn’t he good?