Todd Frazier’s shift from the Bronx to Flushing means the Mets need to be formally anticipating a thumbs-down now on David Wright’s newest comeback try.
It was painstakingly apparent all through final summer season that the Mets not may wait for his or her former All-Star third baseman and franchise participant, particularly since Wright has been restricted to 75 appearances over the previous three seasons because of a number of again and neck surgical procedures – and none since Could of 2016.
Signing the Jersey-bred Frazier to a two-year deal price $17 million marks the ultimate realization and concession that the Mets must function beneath the idea that Wright’s taking part in days for them — as a lot as everybody nonetheless can maintain out slight glimmers of hope for a feel-good return to the diamond – are almost certainly behind him.
“It actually hurts to say this, however I clearly cannot be relied on to go on the market and do what I’ve completed all through my profession. That could be a robust factor to say,” Wright admitted to MLB.com in an interview two weeks in the past. “Every part is a priority for me.
“I have never progressed to the purpose the place I will know the way it feels to throw a baseball till we get nearer to spring. I definitely do not understand how the again goes to carry up.”
As of final week, the 35-year-old Wright notably nonetheless had not been cleared to renew baseball exercise, one other ominous signal of the precariousness of making an attempt to restart his profession whereas nonetheless managing the spinal stenosis he was recognized with just a few years in the past.
That does not imply he hadn’t way back earned the proper to determine for himself how lengthy to proceed trying to get again on the sector, however it additionally does not imply the Mets ought to have bypassed an inexpensive deal reminiscent of this one with Frazier, who proved to be a robust local-guy match each on and off the sector after the Yankees acquired him from the White Sox final July.
As Sandy Alderson famous late final week, Asdrubal Cabrera’s public admission that he’d choose to play second base as an alternative of third in 2018 opened up the chance for the Mets so as to add an on a regular basis third baseman who can present among the middle-of-the-order energy the Mets have missed on the place since Wright’s heyday as a seven-time All-Star who knocked in a minimum of 100 runs 5 occasions.
“I do not need to have regrets,” Wright mentioned in January. “If I can not play? Then I will have the ability to say I gave it my greatest shot, I actually did. And if I can play, which clearly is the objective, then that is nice as effectively. And that is best. I simply do not need to have any regrets when it is all mentioned and completed that if I might have simply put in some extra work, or if I might have simply concentrated a bit extra on the rehab program, I may need been capable of do it.
“When the top comes, the top comes. Hopefully, I’ve obtained a bit extra left. However I suppose that is to be decided.”
Wright, after all, nonetheless is owed $47 million over the subsequent three seasons from the $138 million contract he signed in 2012. Insurance coverage has been reimbursing the Mets 75 % since July of 2016, and the coverage would repay a further $15 million on the $20 million he’s slated to earn this season if he’s medically unable to play.
At that time, the Mets and the insurance coverage service may negotiate an harm settlement for the rest, just like what occurred with Prince Fielder and the Texas Rangers when he retired in 2016.
“The surgical procedures are clearly critical stuff, however it simply form of performs together with your thoughts mentally, the place you do not know how your physique’s going to carry up,” Wright mentioned. “You do not know how you are going to really feel a month from now. You do not know how you are going to really feel a pair weeks from now. You are hoping that it continues to get higher, however you simply do not know.”
That’s the reason the Mets needed to make a hedge transfer for one more third baseman this offseason. Bringing in Frazier may characterize a thumbs-down for Wright, however it clearly was the proper factor to do.