So the Mets say it is “unrealistic” that David Wright will take a major league field this season. And they probably won’t be calling up Peter Alonso, either. The Mets are making all sorts of excuses, but it all coms down to one thing — money. I know, a shocker.
In promoting Wright to Triple-A on Tuesday, one of the Mets three GMs suggested it would be his highest rung in 2018.
“It’s unrealistic to think he would be activated anytime soon, based on what we have seen to this point,” John Ricco said told reporters. “To be a major league player takes a lot physically. So we tried to put in place a program that he could come back and show us he’s ready to be a major league player and so far he hasn’t reached that, whether it’s in terms of the playing time or playing skill. It’s kind of an all-of-the-above at this point.”
But here’s what the real point is. The Mets are paying David Wright $20 million this season. However, they have an insurance policy on him that pays 75% of his salary, which means if he stays off the field for the entire season, they are only on the hook for $5 million. There is a 60-day deductible period, which was met in 2016 when Wright last played. I can only assume this carries over from season to season, which means Wright’s policy was in full effect in 2017, so the team only paid $5 million as well (not to mention saving a third of his salary in 2016).
If Wright were to be activated on September first, it would cost the Mets about $3 million for the month. Then, if he were unable to play next year, they would have to again wait 60 days before the insurance kicks in (again, assuming it carries over). That would cost them another $5 million or so (Wright makes $15 million next season). Why spend upwards of $8 million just to have Wright play a handful of games in this lost year?
The Mets, of course, will deny all of this. But if they are telling the truth, what would be the harm of activating Wright and having him play a few games? It would certainly make the fans happy. And if Wright were indeed not ready to play, he would simply remove himself from the field to avoid embarrassment. But it is about money. I just wish the Mets would admit it.
As far as Alonso, the Mets claim they are concerned about his defense at first base. That is laughable — since when have the Mets been concerned about defense? Unless Alonso is an absolute clown out there (which is unlikely), he can’t be any worse than anything else we’ve seen from the Mets fielders this season.
No, it is all about service time and keeping him off the 40-man roster. And those are valid reasons. But the Mets would never admit it.
Hopefully the next GM will be more transparent. But with the Wilpons still ruling the roost, do not hold your breath.