(Long Island, N.Y.) 2012 has been a year to forget for the New York Mets – for the most part. Perhaps at the cost of his arm’s health, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history earlier this summer and now David Wright has also put his name (again) in the team’s record book.
Fittingly in a home loss to the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates, the Mets All-Star third baseman hit a two-run single in the seventh inning to tie Ed Kranepool with 1,418 hits as a Met. Steady Eddie played his entire career in Flushing (1,853 games) and set the previous mark with 5,436 at bats. Wright was able to match it after only 1,255 games and 4,717 at bats.
“He is truly a great player,” Mets manager Terry Collins said to reporters after the game. “This guy holds records now in so many different departments of the organization. In a short period of time that he’s played with this team, it is truly a tribute first to his durability and his talent. He plays every day. He plays hard. He prepares himself second to none and just continues to put up numbers.”
Coming out of the gate flirting with a .400 batting average, Wright has had a strong bounce back season after going through an off-year in 2011 that was marred with a back injury. After 82 games this summer, Wright was batting .351 with a 1.004 OPS and 11 home runs. His production has tailed off as the losses mounted and he is currently hitting .306, .884 OPS and 20 long balls.
So with just a little over a week left in the regular season, Wright will in all likelihood finish somewhere near his .301 career average and at 29, shows no signs of slowing down. Just how this transcends into determining Wright’s future remains to be seen.
The team has a $16 million option for 2013 on Wright that they will surely invoke. General manager Sandy Alderson would like to get Wright to sign a long-term deal, but will he offer them a home town discount, especially with no end in sight of the losing?
When both parties were in negotiations earlier this season, Wright’s side ended the talks and stated that they preferred to wait until the winter to resume. That is a normal course of business for many players, as they want to concentrate on the games and leave the contract talk for a later day.
By cutting payroll in so many other areas, the Mets can probably take on a large contract or two, especially when since they already let Jose Reyes leave as a free agent after the 2011 campaign. It would behoove them to keep Wright at Citi Field and continue to make him the face of the franchise and team leader (even though he lacks many of the qualities for the latter, but is the best they have).
To get an idea of what he is in store for, Alderson doesn’t need to look much further than the six-year, $100 million deal that the Nationals gave fellow third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to keep him in Washington.
If the Mets are not willing to spend money on a player of Wright’s caliber, then there will be many more long seasons without even a sniff of the playoffs around that part of town.