The Mets just held a press conference to announce what they’re doing with third baseman and captain David Wright. The plan: they will activate him on September 25 and he will start at third base on September 29, during the Mets’ final home stand of the 2018 season.
Wright strongly implied during the press conference that this will be it too, and that he will retire at the end of the season, saying that playing baseball is “debilitating” to his health and that “there’s not going to be an improvement” in the problems that have cost him so much time. He said that September 29 is “obviously very important” to him. Wright, speaking to his teammates who attended the press conference with him, added, “it’s truly been an honor to take the field with you, and serve as your captain. To the fans, words can’t address my gratitude.”
Wright, as you know, hasn’t appeared in a major league game since May 27, 2016 due to neck, back, and shoulder injuries. He had been rehabbing in the minors until the first of September and has been with the Mets, rehabbing on the side, since then. As is typical for the Mets there has been confusion as to what the actual plan was, with Wright strongly suggesting he was ready to play while the Mets seemed inclined to hold him back.
Some have suggested that the Mets’ inclination was financially-motivated in that, as long as Wright is on the disabled list, insurance will cover much of his salary. If he’s active, the Mets are on the hook. If Wright does, in fact, retire, the Mets will be off the hook for the $27 million he is still owed for the final two seasons of the eight-year, $138 million contract he signed with the team December of 2012.
As of the season’s final week, however, that question will be resolved, at least for a couple of days. Wright will be active and in uniform, perhaps pinch hitting and stuff during their series against the Braves mid-week, but starting at third base against the Marlins on Saturday the 29. Then, after that, he appears poised to walk off into the sunset, having left the game as an active player.
Expect a full house at Citi Field.