Is Wright a Fit for Detroit? I Think So
Is Wright a Fit for Detroit? I Think So
The reality of trading David Wright is you probably won’t get the type of haul the Rangers received for Mark Teixeira back in 2007. Prospects have become one of the most overvalued commodities in the game today. Teams ask for A-list prospects for B-level talent, and teams with A-level talent more than often see offers with B-prospects as the centerpiece. That’s why making deals is harder than it’s ever been before.
Enter the Mets and David Wright. If reports are true, then Wright will be on the market sometime this summer. It’s unlikely the Mets will be contenders, and the team’s murky financial future makes his $16 million dollar 2013 option undesirable. This option is the real issue in obtaining value for Wright, as he can opt for free agency if traded this season. That’s why the time to trade Wright is now, not July, since you may be able to persuade a team with pennant hopes to swap a top prospect for him.
Anyone that’s been around Wright knows having a positive environment is important to his success. His best years came when he was a cog on a winning team. As soon as he became the focal point of failure his performance on offense and defense suffered. A team that imports Wright to be part of their very good core of players will likely receive the player that was one of the best in baseball from 2006-2008. The Tigers are one of those teams that could be a fit for a trade.
The season-ending injury to Victor Martinez puts an already thin lineup short on impact bats. The Central Division has up-and-coming teams in Kansas City and Cleveland, so Detroit’s window of opportunity could be now. As we saw the last few years, all you have to do is make the playoffs to have a shot.
Would Detroit part with top pitching prospect Jacob Turner for Wright? The refused to give him up for Matt Garza, but that was before the V-Mart injury. This is a different situation since they would be dealing from strength to fill a need. A rotation that features Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Max Scherzer at the top is a pretty good threesome. Rick Porcello has struggled, but is still only 23-years old. I am not suggesting they couldn’t use Garza, but he wasn’t a pressing need. Offense is a pressing need since, as constituted, I don’t know if Detroit can compete with the big boys of the American League.
For as touted as Turner has been, he isn’t perfect. He’s a RHP that throws a 92-94 mph fastball, and has the potential for a plus curveball and changeup. Reports indicate he possesses a good work ethic and pitching IQ. Like with all young pitchers, however, the key to success the ability to develop command of his secondary pitches. He reached the big leagues at just 20-years old this past season. Not surprisingly, he struggled in 3 starts to the tune of an 8.53 ERA, but his ascent through the Tigers system is impressive and a good sign.
If you are Sandy Alderson would you be comfortable doing a “Carlos Beltran-type” deal with Wright in the sense you would be receiving the best player possible versus a quantity package. If Seattle would deal a more established young arm in Michael Pineda for a DH-prospect in Jesus Montero, why is it so crazy for Detroit to give up a minor league pitcher for an established middle-of-the-order bat? If anything, Detroit is getting away with acquiring Wright on the cheap.
As for the free agency, I guarantee that Wright will look to re-sign with the team he’s traded to. First, he is not going to be obscenely expensive in free agency and difficult to sign; he’s also a guy that has shown loyalty in the past (in a bad situation no less), and is focused on being in a stable and positive environment. There is no reason to believe the money wouldn’t be there in Detroit, and I don’t see Wright wanting to uproot himself a third time in a calendar year. Worst case scenario is the Tigers have him for two seasons. When Martinez returns in 2013, that lineup with Wright has the potential to be very balanced and scary.
Of course, the public relation nightmare that would unfold in New York might force Alderson to hold on to Wright for as long as possible. Even though he would be receiving a top pitching prospect, the mainstream media would focus on how this is an indictment on the Wilpons finances; especially on the heels of Jose Reyes signing in Miami. The front office can’t worry about public relations (fans aren’t showing up to the ballpark with Wright on the roster), and have to focus on doing the long-term, no pun intended, right thing. If such a deal can be made they need to sell it to ownership.
Imagine a young pitching core of Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, and Jacob Turner. Very exciting despite the fact there are no guarantees any or all of those arms will pan out as expected. Collecting young arms, however, gives you the best opportunity for one or more to pan out.
It can’t hurt to talk to Detroit. Who knows, perhaps this deal can expand to include more players on both sides, including Jonathon Niese, who the Mets have put on the market this offseason.By The Baseball Page