David Wright’s stay in Class AAA Las Vegas was a short one as he rejoined the Mets today in San Francisco. However, the move isn’t for our eyes, but the team’s medical staff.
“It’s unrealistic to think he would be activated anytime soon, based on what we have seen to this point,” assistant general manager John Ricco said on a conference call with reporters. “But we really have been taking it step-by-step and giving him every opportunity to get back.”
Wright told reporters in Las Vegas: “My goal is to play in the big leagues this year. I think that with the challenge I have physically, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that I could play in the big leagues this year.’’
Wright went 1-for-9 in two rehab games with Las Vegas, and in 12 games overall – including ten games with Class A St. Lucie – Wright hit .171.
Clearly, Wright isn’t playing with any consistency to warrant being activated, but another factor is the insurance policy the Mets hold on his contract. Currently, the team is recouping 75 percent of his $20 million salary, but that will end once he comes off the disabled list.
If Wright is activated once the rosters are expanded Sept. 1, it would cost the Mets over $2 million, and, his deductible would automatically reset, costing them even more next season.
Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon has repeatedly said the team considers Wright’s salary part of their payroll regardless.
Working out with the team would not entail playing in games as the minor league schedule will end next week. In all probability, he could be shut down for September.
“Right now, we’re focused on, let’s see how he finishes up here in the last few days and we’ll have some more discussions about the specifics of what the rest of the year looks like,” Ricco said.
Money is also a significant reason why top prospect first baseman Peter Alonso won’t be brought up. Ricco said Alonso needs to improve his defense, but also the Mets need to look at Jay Bruce at first base in preparation for next season.
“To have Pete come up and really just sit didn’t make a lot of sense,” Ricco said.
Alonso told MLB.com: “I’m not going to lie, it’s really disheartening and disappointing because one of the things that people tell you is as long as you are successful, you’re going to be in the big leagues. It’s just one of those things where I understand it’s an organizational decision, and at the end of the day, I have to respect that. But it’s really disheartening because I feel like I’ve performed, and am deserving of a reward.’’
In 125 combined games at Class AA Binghamton and Las Vegas, Alonso hit .277 with a .393 on-base percentage, 33 homers, 26 doubles and 111 RBI.