"I consider him one of my closest friends in baseball, and that's no different now," Wright said. "Obviously, we're going to try to go out there and try to beat him as badly as possible, and hopefully he doesn't get any hits against us. But as soon as he leaves here, you always kind of check the box scores and hope he does well."
Before Reyes inked a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins, he and Wright played nine seasons as teammates with the Mets, spending more than a decade together in the organization. The Mets plan to salute their former shortstop with a video tribute on Tuesday, and Reyes -- who still owns a home on Long Island -- will have a chance to reunite with old friends.
But the pleasantries will not last long. Reyes is a Marlin now, and the Mets have moved on with Ruben Tejada, who has supplemented some strong defense this season with a .345 on-base percentage in 13 games entering Monday's doubleheader against the Giants.
"It's always a concern when you're a young player and you're replacing a star player, to try to do similar things that he did," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It's human nature to say, 'Well, I've got to live up to this guy.' But the more you try that, the bigger problems you're going to face."
In his final act as a Met during last September, Reyes bunted for a single then removed himself from the season finale at Citi Field, putting himself in prime position to win the first batting title in franchise history. Though Reyes should rack up plenty of additional bunt singles before his career is complete, Wright does not expect him to employ the same strategy on Tuesday.
"Not if he knows better," Wright said, laughing. "Not unless he wants an 0-fer. I think he's smarter than that, because the last thing I'm going to let him do is get a hit that way."