The $16 million team option on Wright's contract for the 2013 season will become void if he is traded from the Mets, an industry source confirmed Friday. That means that any club acquiring the third baseman would have him under team control only through next season.
A player's trade value is contingent upon many factors, chief among them the length and value of his contract. Before Friday's revelation, Wright's name had surfaced in trade talks in large part because he was widely assumed to be under team control through 2013. Exercising the team option in his contract has never been in question for the Mets; if Wright even approaches his career statistical norms, his 2013 salary would make him a relative bargain.
But with the third baseman potentially under control only through 2012, his trade value takes a hit. If the Mets do not trade Wright this season, he would effectively become a one-year rental for any team looking to acquire him (much like shortstop Jose Reyes this season).
Though Wright could waive that contract provision, allowing a trading team to pick up his $16 million option, he would have little reason to do so given his impending status as a high-profile free agent.
Wright originally signed his six-year, $55 million contract extension with the Mets in 2006. He is due to make $14 million this season and $15 million in 2012.