Some interesting, non-Phillies (but sort of related) related news this week, as a “source” with knowledge of the New York Mets claims that they are running out of money, will be broke within two seasons, and will be unable to sign stars David Wright or R.A. Dickey to long-term deals.
This little nugget comes from Amazin Avenue, and blogger Eno Sarris goes into it quite a bit of detail on the implications of such a scenario. It's a good read if you are interested in finance, the Mets, or schadenfreude. And while the validity of those claims has yet to be validated -- at least in public -- it is worth talking about as it pertains to the Phillies.
You see, if the Mets are short on cash, then that means that the chances of them extending third baseman David Wright past 2013 are very slim, meaning that Wright will either, A. Get traded mid-season and/or B. Will hit the open market after next season as a free agent.
And if you're a Phillies fan, then you are salivating at the prospect of that happening, because what it represents is an alignment of several stars that would allow the Phillies to fill a hole, bolster their offense, and add a cornerstone player for the next several seasons.
Wright, who is coming off his best offensive season since 2008, would be a perfect fit for the 2014 Phillies. Without a long-term solution at third base (unless prospect Cody Asche is legit), they would be well-served to consider Wright, who sports a career line of .301/.381/.506. He gets on base, can hit for power, can field, and can run the bases better than most. To boot, he is right-handed which is a sight for sore eyes, given that the Phillies seem to only have left-handed hitters in the middle of their lineup.
Wright would nestle in nicely between Chase Utley (assuming he is with the team beyond 2013), and Ryan Howard, which would neutralize opposing managers going to left-handed relievers in the late innings to cut through the heart of the order.
There are two problems with this, as I see it. One, Wright is 29 years old, meaning the Phillies will once again be signing a player who is on the wrong side of 30. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, because a player like Wright very well could hold a great deal of value in his mid-30s, but at what cost? Wright, who will be highly sought after on the open market, figures to command a contract that will pay him more than $15 million per season over six or seven years. In other words, he won't come cheap, and the Phillies do have payroll concerns of their own to consider.
Ultimately, this is all pure speculation. Even if the Mets aren't going to go belly up, that doesn't automatically mean that Wright will want to re-sign there. It also doesn't mean that he will want to sign with the Phillies, either. More likely, he'll sign a huge deal with the Miami Marlins, only to be traded a year and a half later to the Minnesota Twins. Baseball is funny, that way.