Sandy Alderson says David Wright’s future will not be tied to team performance

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Last year we were bombarded with stories focused on the future of Jose Reyes, but now it’s David Wright’s turn.

There’s already been plenty of speculation about a possible trade over the past few months, but Mets’ general manager Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com in Port St. Lucie this morning that as opposed to Carlos Beltran’s situation last year, Wright’s future with the club will not be tied to the team’s performance on the field.

“I think that his future is independent of club performance,” Alderson said. “There are certain decisions that one takes that are a function of where a team is at a particular time and so forth. But if there’s anybody on the team whose performance and future is independent of the club’s performance, I think it’s David’s. … I think it was presumed going into the [2011] season that depending on what we did and how well Carlos performed and given the fact he was in the last year of his contract that he might be traded at the deadline. David’s case is little bit different. No. 1, there isn’t that presumption. No. 2, he has an option for next year. So I think his situation is somewhat different.”

Wright, 29, is owed $15 million this season while his contract includes a $16 million club option for 2013 or a $1 million buyout.

While we can disagree about whether dealing the face of the franchise is the right move, odds are the Mets would get more in return if they wait until next offseason. Wright has the ability to void the option year if he is traded this season while the new collective bargaining agreement stipulates that the acquiring team would not be able to offer him arbitration as a free agent. However, if the Mets pick up the option year and trade him next offseason, the acquiring team would be able to offer him arbitration since he would spend the full season with his new club.

Of course, the Giants acquired Beltran from the Mets for top prospect right-hander Zack Wheeler last July with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be able to offer him arbitration, so it’s hard to predict what offers could come from a team in contention. Especially if the variable of a second wild card is added this season.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.