Last season, as Jose Reyes prepped for free agency, former Met Darryl Strawberry told the cautionary tale of how he regretted leaving Broadway for other pastures. His story apparently didn't resonate as Reyes bolted for Miami.
With third baseman David Wright set to be a free agent in 2014, unless the Mets decline his team option for next year, Strawberry again is letting it be known that he would advise the Mets' biggest superstar to stay in Flushing.
"I still think he's going to be a part of it. I don't think he's going to move," Strawberry said before the Mets faced Arizona. "When you play in New York, there's no greater place. I think David realizes that just as well as I realized it. I hated the fact that I ever left. Probably would be a tough decision for him to make that decision."
He added: "Hopefully he's able to stay around. They have some pieces here and they have some young players and they're going to scuffle and struggle but it's part of it. Hopefully David's a solid player and he's a key to where they could be headed."
Strawberry was at Citi Field to present Wright with a plaque for becoming the team's all-time RBI leader. Wright has driven in 739 runs in his career, breaking Strawberry's old mark of 733 that he held for 22 years. The third baseman broke the record April 25.
"It's good to see a player of his caliber play the way he's played over the years," Strawberry said. "For him to break my RBI record, it makes you think about how good you have to be and how long and how healthy you have to be for any player to do that on any team. He has to put in his time and David has put in his time and he's accomplished a lot of things."
The former right fielder left the Mets for the Dodgers in 1990 following eight seasons in the Big Apple. He said he realized he had made a mistake when he saw how the fans would show up late and leave early at Dodgers games, and he noted how there was just not the same passion for baseball in Los Angeles as there was in New York.
Strawberry hopes that players can stay with the teams they were drafted with, such as how Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has never worn anything but pinstripes, but he understands all the winning the Yankees do makes that a unique situation. Strawberry believes Wright can make a statement for the Mets for a long time if he stays.
"He's a good enough player to play at this level to this point and when you're good enough to be the kind of player he's been here in New York, it speaks for itself," Strawberry said. "The key for him is to be able to stay away from the injuries in his career and just saying healthy. If he can stay healthy, the sky's the limit. It's not over for him, it's just beginning."