Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro has words with David Wright....

Home plate umpire Mike DiMuro has words with David Wright. (Aug. 22, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

The Mets placed David Wright on waivers this month, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Thursday, but the third baseman was not claimed by any team, contrary to initial reports.

Teams place many of their players on waivers as a matter of procedure, and in most cases, they have no desire to trade them. It often can be a way of gauging interest in players, and the Mets could be figuring out how Wright fits into their offseason plans.

When players are put on waivers, they either go unclaimed -- most likely because of a prohibitive salary -- or are claimed, which then gives the teams a chance to discuss a potential trade. In many situations, a contending team will make a claim just to block another club from the chance to acquire the player.

Unlike in the case of irrevocable, or release, waivers, the player can be pulled back, just as Wandy Rodriguez and Carlos Peña were this week by the Astros and Cubs, respectively.

Teams are not allowed to publicly discuss the process and can be heavily fined for doing so, which is why many players are put on waivers and the names are never disclosed. Neither the Mets nor the Rockies, who were said to have interest in Wright, commented on the situation.

During the month of August, teams usually put their entire rosters through the process, either to make them available for potential deals during the waiver-trade period or to check their marketability for the future.

Wright, a five-time All-Star, certainly is an attractive talent, but he likely cleared waivers because of his contract. He is signed through next year -- he will earn $15 million in 2012 -- and the Mets hold a team option for 2013 worth $16 million (with a $1-million buyout). According to a clause in the contract, however, that is a Mets-specific option and disappears if he is traded or claimed on waivers.

Even if Wright were claimed by another team, it is almost certain that the Mets would have pulled him back. While Sandy Alderson will be thinking outside the box this offseason trying to improve the Mets with a reduced budget, he's not ready to move Wright.

Plus, Wright remains the face of the organization and is a favorite of ownership. Perhaps the only scenario in which the Mets would entertain trading him is if they decided they could not afford both Wright and Jose Reyes. It is unclear if the Mets' payroll plans would prevent the general manager from holding on to the pair of homegrown players.

The Mets probably see Wright as more easily replaced than Reyes. The emergence of Daniel Murphy -- and nowhere to play him -- could persuade the Mets to consider him as a Plan B for third base. If the team retains Reyes, Terry Collins has said Ruben Tejada will be considered for the second-base job.

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