UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Jim Riggleman hasn’t been contacted by the Blue Jays. And that’s straight from Riggleman’s agent, Burton Rocks. However, he would have interest in the job.
10:51 AM: The Blue Jays have been busy with high-profile player acquisitions this week, but they still don’t have a manager. According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, that could change very soon.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has tried to keep his search under wraps, but he reportedly wants a manager with previous experience. While Tracy and Riggleman are pretty underwhelming choices, this report by Olney indicates that Anthopoulos is leaning in that direction.
Tracy has an 856-880 record over 11 seasons as a manager in the majors between the Dodgers, Pirates and Rockies. He resigned as Colorado’s skipper in October. Riggleman has a 622-824 record over 12 seasons as a manager in the majors, making stops with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Nationals. He infamously quit the Nationals last June after the club declined to give him a multi-year contract. He managed the Reds’ Double-A affiliate this season.
There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.
Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”
The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.
Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.
The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.
Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.