What Is The Market For David Wright And R.A. Dickey?

If the Mets believe they’ll keep David Wright and R.A. Dickey on the cheap they are sadly mistaken. If neither are signed in the next couple of months both are likely to enter the free-agent market, at which point they’ll likely go elsewhere.

I can’t see either coming back to the Mets if they let them enter the market.

There have already been reports the Mets will offer Wright a package for around $100 million and aren’t willing to go more than two years on Dickey.

Sandy Alderson said last week the Mets wanted to move quickly, but your definition and the Mets’ are different, as the club has proven to move at a glacier pace on other key issues.

Wright will make $15 million next season while Dickey is on the books for $5 million. If extensions are reached, they should make considerably more, although it is conceivable they could backload a contract for Wright. Because he’s 38 and this is his last chance for a free-agent market killing, the same can’t be said for Dickey. So, if the Mets don’t go more than three years for him, then he’s a goner.

There are difficulties in trading both, notably that they will be free agents after the 2013 season. No team would be willing to deal for them if they know they’ll leave after the season.

A team trading for Wright must consider his recent production. He had a solid, but not extraordinary season in 2012, hitting .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBI. His last big season was probably 2010 when he hit 29 homers, and he hasn’t hit 30 since 2008. Wright has always been a complementary piece rather than a centerpiece. His best years were when Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran with him and he hit fifth. Wright batting third or fourth hasn’t been as productive.

In explaining Wright’s power decline the past few years, it is part injuries and part hitting unprotected in the line-up. The percentage of each is hard to ascertain.

We must assume the Mets wouldn’t trade Wright to the Phillies or the Braves, both with a reported need for a third baseman. The Red Sox, however, are a different story as they are in the American League and no direct threat to the Mets.

That being said Wright has a greater value to the Mets than he would any other team. That could reduce his trade value to some degree.

Regarding Dickey, he has an extraordinary value to the Mets based on his story and what he did this year. The Mets shouldn’t be worried about his durability, but have to wonder if this season was a fluke. A journeyman throughout his career, Dickey had an ace-type season in 2012 winning 20 games.

Can he do it again?

That’s something everybody is wondering, including those teams that might want him. Do you break the bank for a pitcher who has had only three winning seasons since 2001?

When you factor all the circumstances surrounding Wright and Dickey, both have limitations that might make the return as lucrative as one might think.


10 thoughts on “What Is The Market For David Wright And R.A. Dickey?

  1. I agree that David is very good but not a franchise player. It is disappointing that he had the second half he did. The commentators were saying he started an upper cut he second half. One thing that was great was his defense. The Mets should keep him and pay the $100M because as RA said if they don’t it tells everyone they want to suck.

    As for RA they should sign him too. He is our ACE. If we want to get good it starts with pitching. The team should be able to afford these two players. If not they should sell the team. RA has been good for two years. Perhaps this is his high water mark, but he has control and knows how to pitch. He is also the only knuckler in the game. He is not a one hit wonder.

    I still think the Wilpons need to sell the team for the sake of the Mets and baseball.

  2. The “Wright had his best years hitting 5th and not 3rd/4th” is a myth. Wright’s two best seasons in years past were in 2007 and 2008. 2008 he hit almost exclusively 3rd. In 2007 he bounced around from 3rd, 4th, and 5th, mostly hitting 3rd and doing his best work that year while he hit 3rd (hitting near .370 with an OPS of 1.065) . Wright was also by far the Mets best hitter those years…so the idea of him just being a “complimentary” player those years is not true. Delgado in particular was pretty lousy in 2007…so he wasn’t the one keeping that team in contention.

    Despite some issues with the move to Citi and some problems in 2009 and 2011 during years he spend a good chunk of time hitting 3rd, Wright’s numbers are pretty similar regardless of where he hits.
    3rd: .298/.386/.494/.879
    4th: .309/.384/.514/.898
    5th: .304/.379/.517/.897

    And Wright was very good this year. Probably the 3rd best year of his career….though one can argue its his second best year, only behind his 2007. You can’t just look at HRs and RBIs to evaluate a player. There is much more to hitting that just mashing HRs (Wright’s not even a prototypical “HR hitter” anyway) and RBIs are extremely team dependent. You don’t even have to look much further than Ike Davis this year to see how the team around you can influence RBI. I don’t think anyone would argue against the statement that Ike Davis performed much better in the second half than the first. But he actually had a several more RBI and a slightly better RBI per PA rate in the first half than the second.

    • this is a well reasoned analysis of David and his value to the team.
      I too am tired of the meme that he was only good because of Beltran and Delgado. Delgado had some poor seasons while David did well. And David had strong september in 2007 while the rest of the team did not.
      As for him being more valuable to the Mets than other teams, that is flawed as well. Outside of Longoria and Zimmerman, name me another third baseman that is as good as David? There are numerous teams that would love to plug him into their lineup.

      • I think the criticism is not that David is not good. He is. He is very good.

        The criticism is that unlike a handful of players he cannot drive the team. There are hitters that you have to pitch around that when you have to pitch to them they more often than not hurt you.

        As good a hitter as David is I do not think he is one of those players. Strawberry was one of those players. His problem is that he was not consistent enough. There were months when he just carried the team. He would then disappear for a while. As I say above you should keep him. His defense was stellar this year. In years past he could catch the ball but frequently threw it away. He is not throwing it away anymore.

      • Ed: Wright does have a value to the Mets that transcends his production on the field. He has a public relations and marketing value. If the Mets commit to him that’s a sign they are serious about contending. If they let him go, what does that tell you? So, there is a value. … BTW: Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre aren’t slouches at third.-JD

        • I did forget Cabrera, HUGE oversight.
          Beltre is much older than David. And his career has been up and down.
          Yes, he has that extra value to the Mets, but I would say pretty much any other team would like to have him, save for the Nats, Tigers, Rays and a couple of others.
          BTW, I want him here.

    • nym: Thank you for your thoughtful response. Your numbers support you very well. … The thing with numbers is you can make them read anyway you want. … I reject the notion RBI are irrelevant, as they directly relate to winning and losing. Boiled down, the game is about outscoring the opposition and you do that with runs. RBI is about driving in runs. …My assertion that Wright’s best years were hitting fifth is based on the complementary support. The Mets of 2006 were balanced offensively and part of that is having Beltran and Delgado in the lineup also. … Thanks again for your comment and I hope you come back again.-JD

      • John, RBI is a function of the team around the player. You can have an awesome player, but if there is nobody on base when he hits, his RBI numbers will suffer. That is why other stats should be used in conjunction with RBI to help paint a complete picture of the player. The days of relying on RBI only should be in the past.
        RUNS relate to winning and losing, not just RBI, but runs scored as well. So again, if a player is getting on base, but the other guys behind him are not driving him in, that stat will suffer.

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