After he played his final game, New York Mets’ third baseman David Wright made it clear he wanted to remain a part of the organization. Wright’s next move was to tag along with new General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen to the Winter Meetings, giving him a taste of what front office life was like. That experience went so well that the Mets and Wright decided to make the arrangement permanent. The Mets announced yesterday that Wright has been appointed as a special assistant to Van Wagenen. The release also mentioned that the Mets and Wright agreed to his release from the roster, clearing a valuable 40 man roster spot for the Mets to use in the future.
The job is perfect for Wright, who made it clear that he wanted time to be with his family but still stay involved with the franchise. SNY’s Andy Martino reported that Wright’s position isn’t a ceremonial gig, like how Mike Piazza will show up to spring training and throw on a uniform to work with the team’s current catchers for a couple of days. Wright’s job is a legitimate position within the front office, and he can provide Van Wagenen a valuable resource due to his knowledge of the player’s mindset.
The other interesting piece of information to come out of the release is that the Mets have finally removed Wright from the 40 man roster. Wright never officially retired because it would forfeit the remainder of his salary, and that matter was expected to be negotiated between the Mets and their insurance company. The release assures that a settlement has been reached, and while the Mets won’t publicly disclose anything the following tweet from MetsMerized’s Christopher Soto sheds some light on the matter.
Soto is citing Cots’ Contracts, an online site that is known to have relevant contract details for big league players. If this information is accurate, the Mets have freed up about $6.5 million to spend on players this season, dropping their projected payroll down to about $140 million. The Mets could definitely use this money to improve other areas of their roster, such as picking up extra bullpen arms or a starter in center field, but there is no indication that they are planning on any major signings at this point.