Mets have no plans to trade Wright
DALLAS -- Despite Sandy Alderson's bleak financial outlook for 2012 and a payroll that is expected to be no higher than $100 million, the Mets have no intention of following Jose Reyes' departure with a trade of their other franchise player, David Wright.
Not yet, anyway. As the Mets and a stricken fan base continued to cope with the fallout from Reyes' defection to the Marlins late Sunday night, Alderson explained why he has no plans to dump two of his biggest gate attractions during the same offseason, regardless of the savings. With the Mets struggling to sell tickets, trading the popular Wright would be tough for the franchise to absorb.
"Yeah, it comes into play," Alderson said Monday. "I've acknowledged that before. At the same time, as another take on it, we just reconfigured our fences. That's a longer-term proposition, but it certainly would have a short-term impact on somebody like David.
"It would be a little bit inconsistent for us to make those changes and then turn around and trade one of the two or three people that might benefit the most from those changes."
The decision to make Citi Field more hitter-friendly for 2012 was embraced by Wright, who admitted that the original cavernous dimensions had crept into his head. For a team that always has leaned on him heavily, pulling in the fences seems to have returned the favor.
Plus, Alderson said Wright also has value outside the foul lines. "David has been not just an excellent player for the Mets but also a very loyal spokesperson for the franchise," Alderson said, "and I think all of those things are taken into account."
The Mets set up a conference call Monday night for Wright to speak about Reyes' departure, but the team abruptly canceled it without explanation shortly after Wright appeared on a radio show to discuss the same topic at length.
Wright, like Reyes, is a homegrown star. But he's entering the final season of his six-year, $55-million contract, and with a $16-million club option for 2013, he could be nearing the end of his run in Flushing.
"The goal for me is to play out those two years and see what happens after that," Wright told 1050 ESPN. "But I don't think there's any question that you see what Jose has done and Jose leaving and there are going to be questions surrounding what my future is going to be.
"I understand that we're very similar as far as age and what we've endured here in New York. I'm not sure what my future holds. But again, that's out of my control."
Wright now is one of six players who account for roughly $64 million of the 2012 payroll, and Alderson said Monday he has roughly $20 million to $25 million left to improve the team for 2012. The GM also said the plan is for Angel Pagan and Mike Pelfrey to return, which subtracts another $10 million in arbitration, leaving Alderson with only $15 million -- tops -- to spend this winter.
That's not much with the Mets needing a closer, additional bullpen help, a backup catcher and a fifth outfielder. The Twins reportedly took Matt Capps off the market Monday with a one-year deal for $4.75 million, so he's no longer a closer candidate. The only thing for certain is that Alderson will need to get creative in order to stretch the Mets' limited resources.
"We need to get back to the point where we're closer to break-even," said Alderson, who mentioned Sunday night that the Mets lost $70 million this year. "This, by the way, would be true of any owner. This isn't about one individual. You can't sustain losses of the kind we have over the last couple of years and expect anybody to endure those."