Mailbag: Is it time to trade Dickey AND Wright?

Joey G sent in the following e-mail: “I think as it becomes more clear that the Mets aren’t spending money and 2013 – and maybe even 2014 – are less a priority than 2015, why not trade both David Wright and R.A. Dickey with the idea of building the most stacked farm in Major League Baseball. … As we learned this year, you forget real quickly about staying in the race for 3 months when you are out of it by August 1. So, why not just have a clear plan, instead of trying to balance being competitive now and building for the future, which seems to be too difficult to do without being able to spend money. Keep in mind, this team has zero outfielders, a bottom-of-the-pack bullpen, no power and no catcher. The other angle is they aren’t exactly trading two guys who are about to enter their prime. Dickey is going to be 40 soon (although there’s no telling how old his arm actually is) and David Wright is entering his 30 (and considering his power has taken a massive dive over the last 3-4 years, you can’t expect it to come back as he ages). The bottom line is: trading both guys will yield a MASSIVE package of prospects for a team that has so many holes in it’s lineup and no money to spend. It’s the most sensible move, but not an easy one to make.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Joey, you explain this well enough to almost make me actually consider it. I think trading Dickey is reasonable, but moving Wright could be foolish. I suspect you value Wright, more than most fans, which is probably why you imagine him bringing back meaningful prospects.

In my view, Wright has significantly more value over the next seven years to the Mets (as a hitter, as a third baseman, as a guy who knows and plays well in New York, as someone to market and someone to guide young players) than he would have in any trade, because there is no guarantee those prospects will ever pan out. I’d take that bet on Dickey, because I think his age and the mileage on his body limit his upside, yet he’d still net good value in trade because he’s a pitcher making little money.

Of course, I’m not as pessimistic about 2014 as you, it seems. The team will likely have around $50 to $60 million committed to that year’s payroll, entering that off-season. I trust they’ll keep payroll around $100 million, as it’s going to be in 2013. That means lots of money available to build on Wright, Ike Davis, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Ruben Tejada and whatever other players they deem worthy of moving on. So, I’m not willing to give up on 2014 before 2013 has even started. Because of that, Joey, despite your sound argument, I have to keep Wright. The team will need him for the reasons I mentioned above. They can get prospects for Dickey, but I’m convinced Wright has to be here.