There’s been a lot of talk lately about “blowing up” the Mets — just cleaning house and starting from scratch. The Mets do need changes, but unfortunately they are virtually unblowupable (if that’s even a word, which spellcheck tells me it’s not) because of the salaries of players they would like to unload. Some are talking about extreme measures — trading David Wright and Jose Reyes. I am against this, but let’s take a look at the arguments.
The main argument is “the Mets haven’t won anything with them, so what’s the difference?” It’s hard to argue with that logical fact, but I don’t think they have failed to win because of Wright and Reyes (perhaps it was because of this kind of gay pose!). I think they are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Wright has been excoriated for his failure to hit in the clutch — Bill Price of the Daily News calls him “Captain Unclutch.” Yes, Wright does not always come through with the game on the line, like Mike Piazza did so often for the Mets, and like the elite players do for their teams all the time. All this proves is that Wright is not one of those “elite” players. But really, how many elite players are there in MLB at any given time? A dozen? It would be nice if Wright were one of them, but the fact that he’s not doesn’t mean he is worthless. Wright may not be at their level, but he is still an excellent ballplayer, just one step below elite. He’s good for a minimum of 25 home runs, 100 RBIs, 40 doubles, and a .300 average every year. That’s still pretty good production. Whom are they going to get to replace that? Wright remains an important piece of the Mets puzzle. Maybe he’s not the corner piece, but the puzzle can’t be completed without him.
Much has been made of Reyes’ “failure to stay healthy.” That’s a bit inaccurate. Yes, his first two years were limited by injury, but then he played four full seasons before last year’s problems. He’s had injuries this year as well, but he’ll still end up playing 130 games. There are all sorts of stats about how important Reyes is to the Mets, how when he scores the Mets win, etc. Just like with Wright, is there really anyone out there who can take Reyes’ place?
I understand the loud calls for change, and I agree with them. But Wright and Reyes are the guys the Mets should be building around. That’s been the plan all along — the Mets just picked the wrong players with whom to surround them. That’s why they need a new GM with a new vision on what players should take the field alongside Wright and Reyes.