The Kansas City Royals find themselves in unfamiliar territory, being in first place in the last half of June. Could David Wright help this team maintain their position?
The Royals have been red hot on offensive over the past couple of weeks but they struggled through most of the first two months. One position in which they have really underperformed has been third base.
Mike Moustakas has been scuffling along all season, resulting in a brief stint in AAA. His slash for the season is an abysmal .171/.240/.354/.594, with 7 home runs and 26 RBI.
Since June 1st, Moustakas has been better but still not anything to be thrilled about. In 16 June games, his slash is .214/.279/.429/.707 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. While this is much better than his season numbers, it is far from good.
David Wright is an All-Star third baseman for the New York Mets, who are in last place in the NL East. Even at his best, Wright wouldn’t be leading this Mets team to the post season this year. Unfortunately, David Wright has been far from his best in 2014.
This season, Wright has a very mediocre slash – .265/.326/.367/.694 – with 5 home runs and 35 RBI. It is better than Moustakas’ slash by far, but not all that good, and well below Wright’s career slash of .299/.379/.499/.878.
Wright has been a star in the past who has been selected as an All-Star 7 times. It is worrisome though, that Wright’ numbers have plummeted this season despite only being 31-years old. His poor numbers are not even bad luck driven – his Batting Average on Balls in Play is well above average at .324.
It should be noted that Wright’s career BABiP is well above average at .340. Even with the drop in BABiP this season, it doesn’t explain his .265 average overall.
In Wright’s fine career, only in 2011, when he missed 60 games, did his slash even come close to what he has produced in 2014. His slash that season was .254/.345/.427/.771, and it was still better overall than his stats in 2014.
So, if the Mets were willing to trade Wright, when his value is at its lowest, could the Royals afford him? He has 6 years left on his contract after this season, but the Mets still owe him approximately $117 million, including about $10 million for the rest of this season.
Even if the Royals think Wright is just off to a bad start, and he isn’t injured or experiencing a slowed bat, the Mets would have to eat $50-$60 million of that salary for the Royals even to be in a conversation about Wright. That seems unlikely.
What would it take for the Mets to trade to the Royals. They will not be inclined to sell low, even considering his drop in production.
The Mets may or may not be willing to take Moustakas back in the swap, so a top pitching prospect, a top positional prospect, and maybe a player or two from the lower minors should be the expeccted price. The more money they eat, the better quality of prospects it will require.
While it would not be surprising if the Mets trade David Wright, it seems unlikely the Royals will be a candidate. His contract is too long, and too big. Trading for another third baseman would also be an admission by the Royals that they were unable to develop Moustakas.
The Royals will most likely hope that Moustakas can somehow get his average up to the .230 mark this season, and get up over 20 home runs. He is going to have to get hot at some point to reach those numbers. Moutakas’ salary is one the Royals can afford, even if they can’t afford his poor hitting numbers.
It would be nice to have a star like David Wright in the middle of the line-up, but it would take a miracle to get him in a Royals uniform. This is just a pipe dream, and a bad one at that, if his numbers are an indication of age and injury, and not just a poor start.