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MLB Trade Rumors: Will the Mets Deal David Wright?

Note: this was written prior to the injury news on David Wright.

Phil Rogers from the Chicago Tribune speculated on Saturday that the Mets firesale could start in the next few weeks:

The Mets' fire sale could start as soon as Memorial Day. There's not an untouchable on the roster, including third baseman David Wright. Carlos Beltran, who had a three-homer game Thursday, could become a person of interest. …

I have written about Wright a few times of late, and have wondered whether the Mets would consider dealing him with other fantasy owners, but this comes as a bit of a surprise. I say that because it is becoming more and more certain that the Mets will deal Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes by the trade deadline. Trading Beltran and Reyes makes sense because they will get prospects in return in the trades, and probably get extra draft picks in 2012 when both sign as free agents elsewhere.

But what doesn't make sense is dealing the face of the franchise David Wright. With Johan Santana out for most of this season, and no one knows how he will pitch when he returns, keeping Wright is a must. And if you consider the declining attendance at Citifield this season, trading Wright would hurt ticket sales, along with sales of food and drink when fans decide to watch the game at home after he is traded.

Granted, Wright is having a tough season, and I can actually see him electing to become a free agent when his contract is up, but Mets owners and management have to realize attendance will drop if they deal Wright.

Looking at his contract status, he is signed through 2012, with a $16 million club option for 2013. The club option comes with a $1 million buyout. The Mets front office might be considering that their return for dealing Wright will be higher if they deal him this year than next year.

What can the Mets receive in return should they deal Wright? Plenty, even with him having a bad start to the 2011 season. I think they would get a return similar to what the Padres received from the Red Sox in return for Adrian Gonzalez-three top prospects including the Red Sox top pitching prospect.

What teams would be interested in Wright? Not the Yankees or Red Sox. They are set at third base with Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis. How about the Cardinals? They could put together a package of prospects headed by Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez and Zack Cox.