The Mets bet on David Wright for 2017 and lost, but likely won’t take the same gamble next season.
With the Mets captain still trying to get into the baseball shape necessary to play this season, general manager Sandy Alderson on Wednesday acknowledged the organization may have to consider Wright as something other than a third baseman for the remainder of his career.
In a revolving door, the Mets started their seventh third baseman of the season, with Travis d’Arnaud at the position for the first time in his professional career as the Subway Series shifted to Citi Field.
The move came after Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes were scratched from the lineup, each with a sore left rib cage.
“We don’t have an everyday, top-shelf third-base option the way some teams do,” Alderson said, when asked if Wright’s status had any effect on the front office’s decision-making process. “Not that we have played terribly at third base, but we didn’t go into the season with a solidified situation in part because we weren’t sure what David’s condition would be.
“Now, as we go into 2018, do we build on what we learned in 2017 and act accordingly and consider moving David to another position, that sort of thing? That is all something that has to be evaluated as we get into the offseason.”
Wright, who has been sidelined since spring training with a shoulder impingement that has prevented him from throwing, will still have three years and $47 million remaining on his contract beginning next season. But the Mets also could be inclined to pursue other options, such as top free-agent Mike Moustakas to bring a power bat to the infield. Internal options include Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera and T.J. Rivera.
Wright, 34, continues to manage spinal stenosis, a chronic condition in his back that he will have to deal with for the remainder of his career.
“I don’t know how many answers he will have or we will have through the course of this season” Alderson said before the Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night at Citi Field. I think this is an ongoing proposition and his condition lasted for long enough for all of us to understand it’s not something that is going to be completely corrected.
“I know that he wants to get back on the field before the end of the season and we will see if that happens.”
Is it realistic to believe Wright still can play?
“He certainly thinks it is and I’m not going to sit here and tell him or you it’s not,” Alderson said. “But we just have to see. It hasn’t been a straight-line progression, we know that, and it may not for the rest of the season. It’s hard to know.”