New York Mets third baseman David Wright has had a rough past few seasons, battling injuries and a team that has essentially fallen apart around him. But on Wednesday night the 29-year-old finally had a reason to celebrate, as he broke the franchise’s all-time record for runs batted in.
In a 5-1 win over the Miami Marlins, Wright went 1-for-3 with a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. That blast gave him 735 career RBI, breaking a tie with Darryl Strawberry atop the club’s all-time list.
Wright played the “honored to be mentioned with…” card after the game and said the following:
“It’s nice being mentioned for the individual things but what I really want is to be mentioned, have that type of legacy that those guys had in ’86 and even the Mike Piazza era and the Subway Series. That’s ultimately where I want to be mentioned.”
If he stays with the Mets beyond his current contract, there is a good chance Wright will be considered the best position player in franchise history. The six-year, $55 million deal he signed in 2006 will be up after this season, but it has a $16 million option on it for 2013. The Mets are almost guaranteed to decline that option, and will likely choose to pay the deal’s $1 million buyout instead.
There is a chance the team could work out a deal with the homegrown third baseman, but he hasn’t been worth his current contract over the past few seasons.
So far this year, Wright is hitting .364 with three home runs and 10 RBI. He also has a .455 on-base percentage and is slugging .545. Those are great numbers but the season is still young.
The Virginia native played in just 102 games in 2011, hitting 14 home runs and driving in 61 runs, while batting .254 with a dismal OPS of .772. Back in 2009 Wright had a shockingly bad season during which he hit 10 home runs and drove in just 72 runs despite hitting .307 with a .837 OPS.
In 2010 many thought he had regained his form as he blasted 29 home runs and drove in 103 runs. That season he hit .283 and had a decent OPS of .857. But as the numbers above indicate, he regressed again last season.
If Wright wants to remain with the only franchise he has ever known he will likely have to take a pay-cut. If he doesn’t that RBI total could be the only major franchise record he ends up holding.