Mets 3B David Wright, who was re-examined Monday by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles, can not participate in baseball activities for eight weeks due to persistent shoulder and lower back issues, the team said Tuesday.
Wright will remain in LA for the duration of Spring Training, meet the Mets in New York, and is hopeful he'll be able to begin his Spring Training in May, he told reporters on Wednesday.
"I knew that things weren't going as well as I had hoped," Wright said. "It seemed like the more that we tried to put on my plate, the worse that my body was responding."
Wright said last month that he was realistic about the uphill climb ahead of him, but that he was not giving up on his goal to return.
"When it's all said and done I want me to be able to say I did everything I could," Wright said. "If it works, that's obviously the goal. And if it doesn't work, then I'll rest easy knowing that I gave it my best shot."
"I'd love to play again," he added. "But my body's got to hold up and it's going to have to cooperate with me a little bit."
The 35-year-old Wright has been limited to 75 games over the past three seasons (and didn't play at all in 2017) due to spinal stenosis and other ailments, and has recently undergone three surgeries.
The Mets signed 3B Todd Frazier to a two-year deal earlier this offseason after giving Wright a heads up.
Wright is under contract through the 2020 season. He will earn $20 million this season, followed by $15 million in 2019, and $12 million in 2020. A large chunk of his contract is covered by insurance, which kicks in when he misses a certain amount of games each season.
Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
From his debut against the Expos at Shea Stadium in July of 2004 -- when I bought tickets at the last minute to watch from loge reserved between first base and right field -- to 2013, Wright was on a Hall of Fame trajectory. The first serious injury to his lower back occurred in 2011, but it wasn't until 2014 that it all started going downhill.
With the news on Tuesday of Wright being unable to participate in baseball activities for the next eight weeks, it seems we've just moved one step closer to his career being over.
And while Wright has delivered many 'state of his health' addresses over the last three years or so, the one he gave in February in Port St. Lucie was the most painful to watch. He was upbeat, but open and realistic about the challenge ahead of him. And the odds of him making a triumphant return to the batters box at Citi Field seemed then to be much lower than the odds that he'll decide to retire -- whether that happens at some point during this season or after.
There are fans who are in Wright's corner, and have been this entire time. And there are fans who want him to just hang it up -- and those are the fans I don't understand.
Wright has given his all to this team, sticking it out through good times and bad. He has been one of the best position players this franchise has ever had, and an inspiration off the field. That he wants to do everything in his power to try to make it back should be lauded, not derided.
The fact is that the majority of Wright's salary, if he doesn't make it back, will be covered by insurance. Him busting his ass in an effort to return to doing what he loves is not a detriment to this team -- as evidenced by them signing Frazier.
When Wright returned from spinal stenosis in late-2015, he hit a homer in his first at-bat -- because of course he did. And when he stepped up to the plate at Citi Field in the bottom of the first inning in Game 3 of the World Series that fall, he hit a homer to give the Mets the lead in the only game they won in that series -- because of course he did.
If anyone can defy the odds and make it back, it's David Wright. And even if that means taking his place at third base one last time, getting in the batters box one last time, and going out on his terms, it will have all been worth it.