The future of David Wright

Updated: January 18, 2012, 9:51 AM ET
By Buster Olney

A longtime agent who has had clients in the free-agent market this winter was asked recently about how much he had heard from the New York Mets. "Not a lot," he said. "It's like they're in a holding pattern."

They have virtually no money to spend as their ownership wades through its legal morass. But the future of their most prominent player, David Wright, can't be placed on hold for much longer; soon, the Mets will face a crossroads on what to do with the third baseman.

Wright is 29 years old and will make $15 million during the 2012 season; the Mets hold a $16 million option for 2013. Last season, Wright hit .254 with 14 homers and a .771 OPS, the worst of his career. But keep in mind that the lineup around Wright has been thin, generally, and he has played all the home games of his career in parks favorable toward pitchers -- first in Shea Stadium and then, in the last three seasons, Citi Field. The Mets have reconstructed the dimensions of their home ballpark, and Wright and other hitters should be helped by this. Wright's OPS+ has always been good; it was 114 in 2011.

The Mets have three options for how to handle Wright: