The easiest way to understand the existential angst that hovers over the Mets franchise is to look at their career leaders in hitting categories.
There are some wonderful players on those lists, from Darryl Strawberry to Mike Piazza to Jose Reyes -- but, outside of Ed Kranepool, none of them have been Mets for their entire career. Well, except for David Wright.
During an otherwise miserable Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta, Wright tied Strawberry for first place on the franchise list for runs batted in with 733. He's first in a bunch of other categories and ranks no lower than sixth (stolen bases) in any statistic that you'd recognize as one of the counting stats around which baseball has been built.
Does that make him the best position player in the history of the franchise? Strawberry was more impressive offensively and playing catcher probably gives Piazza an edge, but you're not going to get much guff if you made the case for Wright.
If we're debating whether or not Wright is the best position player in the history of the franchise, we are naturally going to have to talk about how much longer Wright is going to be part of the franchise. Trade talk has quieted down thanks to Wright's contract ($15 million this year, $16 million option for 2013 that Wright can void if traded) and the desire to see what he does at least through the All-Star break, but what about a contract extension?
Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that an extension isn't on the "front burner" but that the gut feeling is that a deal will get done to keep Wright in Flushing. Frankly, it's far too soon for either side to be thinking about an extension.
The Mets have a lot of other work to do and they have plenty of time to figure out where Wright fits into the larger plan that they have for the future of the franchise. If everything continues to go well, you can make it happen but there's not much reason to lock yourself into a deal now while taking the risk of serious injury or other negative turn of events.
Placating a fan base that they need to buy in so that the stands and the coffers are full isn't enough of a reason to make a deal right now. It makes some sense, but, honestly, a new deal for Wright isn't going to make the team more likely to win right now.
As for Wright, why not see where the franchise goes for the rest of this year before deciding to make it the only place you'd ever play ball? If push comes to shove and they force you to choose between staying and leaving, that's one thing. But short of that there's no reason to force the issue as long as you keep playing well.
No one should be itching to see Wright go. He's meant a great deal to this franchise and it would be nice to see one Mets icon actually go from his first day to the last day with the team.
Making it happen just for the sake of making it happen would still be a mistake, though.