After missing every game since May 2016, New York Mets third baseman David Wright will start on September 29 against the Miami Marlins, likely for the final game of his career.
The Mets plan to activate Wright on September 25 against the Braves and start him in the second-to-last game of the year.
Now 35 years old, Wright has become a Mets legend despite battling numerous injuries (neck, back, shoulder, etc.), throughout the years. Although he is not officially retiring, he is not expected to play another game after this season.
When asked about playing beyond 2018 during an emotional press conference, Wright said, “The way I feel right now and from everything the doctors have told me, there’s not going to be an improvement. So yeah, I don’t see that as a possibility.”
Wright’s contract includes a $20 million salary for this season, as well as $15 million and $12 million the next two seasons. By activating him off the 60-day disabled list, it will likely lessen the amount of insurance money the team could collect.
“David has earned the opportunity to return to the major league field. Out of respect for him personally, professionally, and for our fans we want to give him that opportunity,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon stated.
“The decision has nothing to do with insurance or finances. It’s about David’s long-term health, his quality of life and desire to get back on the field. Giving him the chance to return to the field is the right thing to do for David, our organization and the fans.”
Currently the longest tenured player with one team in the league, Wright was drafted by the Mets in 2001, making his major league debut in 2004.
“I’ve been wearing this uniform or something similar for half my life now, and that’s an honor that I don’t take lightly and something that I take a lot of pride in,” Wright said. “I truly bleed orange and blue.”
Wright is everywhere in the Mets record books, leading the club all-time in hits (1,777), runs (949), doubles (390), and RBI (790), while being second in home runs (242).
The Mets captain since 2013, Wright helped lead the club to an NL East championship in 2006, reaching Game 7 of the League Championship Series. In 2015, the Mets won the NL East, reaching the World Series for the first time since 2000 as National League champions. He also appeared for the 2016 Wild Card-winning Mets, despite being injured during the postseason.
A seven-time NL All-Star who won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers, Wright now awaits his No. 5 jersey being retired at Citi Field.