The Mets announced on Thursday that third baseman David Wright underwent a back procedure known as a laminotomy (Mayo Clinic link detailing the surgery). The 34-year-old Wright also had shoulder surgery back in September, but he made clear today that he has no plans to retire despite his considerable injury woes in recent years.
“Through this entire rehab process, I have been driven to get back on the field as quickly as I can,” said Wright in a statement. “That’s why I had the shoulder surgery and that’s why today I underwent back surgery to reduce the risk of further issues going forward. With these two surgeries behind me, I hope to be able to put on a Mets uniform again as soon as possible. My desire to play is as strong as ever.”
It’s now been more than 16 months since Wright last suited up for a big league game, as his career has been slowed dramatically by a diagnosis of spinal stenosis and myriad neck, shoulder and back issues over the past several years. Wright at one point looked to be carving out a path to Cooperstown, but he’s now played just 75 games since the conclusion of the 2014 season.
For the Mets, Wright’s latest surgery changes little. General manager Sandy Alderson has already acknowledged that Wright’s “uncertain” status will have to be accounted for this winter, suggesting that the team will at the very least be on the hunt for an experienced depth option. Speculatively speaking, it certainly seems plausible that the team seeks to add a more established option — possibly one with some versatility that can play multiple spots on the diamond.
As for Wright, he’s still owed $47MM through the 2020 season as part of his eight-year, $138MM contract. As much of 75 percent of next year’s $20MM salary is insured, so the Mets will receive some financial compensation if he misses significant time once again in the 2018 campaign.