Mailbag: Why won’t the Mets just trade Wright & Dickey now?

Brian B in Hoboken asked in an e-mail: “If the Mets aren’t going to sign R.A. Dickey and David Wright to contract extensions, why not trade them now? I don’t understand why they’d make the same mistake they made with Jose Reyes. What do you think will happen?”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I assume the main reason is ticket sales, but it’s probably a bit more complicated than just that…

For instance, the main reason for keeping Reyes through 2011 was probably because he was their best chance at selling tickets and getting people to spend money in Citi Field that September. At the time, from what I recall, the Mets were being offered just two mid-level prospects for Reyes, who that year had already been on the disabled list and would soon be a free agent. To be more fair when judging the decision to keep him and not trade him, we also need to see how Reyes does over the course of his current contract, plus we need to know much money was made on tickets that September (since that should impact future budgets), plus we need to know how C Kevin Plawecki and SS Matt Reynolds turn out (since they are who was acquired with compensatory picks for Reyes signing with Miami).

The point is, these decisions are never as simple as: Keep Him or Trade Him. It’s not black or white. There is more to it… and, I suspect that is the same with Wright and Dickey.

This morning, in a report for FOXSports.com, Ken Rosenthal explains:

“A trade of Wright would create the possibility that the team’s homegrown star could appear in the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field wearing another club’s uniform. To avoid such a scenario, the Mets could keep both Wright and Dickey into next season, continue trying to sign them to extensions and then — if the talks failed — trade them after the All-Star Game but before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.   Such a strategy, however, would further depress the trade values of both players; teams are less willing to trade elite prospects because of a new rule that prevents them from receiving a high draft pick if they acquire a potential free agent in the middle of a season and he then signs with another club.”

In other words, Rosenthal is saying, assuming contract negotiations are destin to fail (especially since neither Wright nor Dickey say they’ll negotiate in season), it only makes sense to trade them both now, as opposed to wait until next summer, because they’ll get a better return sooner than later. However, that also means maybe seeing Wright in – say – a Rockies uniform, manning third base in Citi Field during next year’s All Star Game.

Anyway, Brian, that’s your answer. In regards to what I think will happen, I’d set odds at 50-50 Wright signs an extension and 0% he’s traded this winter << click to tweet this

Also, I think it’s 51-49 Dickey either signs a new deal or is traded. I’d say there is a very, very small chance he starts next year on the Mets with just one-year left on his deal << click to tweet this

This is making me sick. I hate that it always seems to come to this…