<
>

Wright applauds Braves, toes company line

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With the Atlanta Braves aggressively acting to sign Ervin Santana for $14 million to offset the loss of Kris Medlen with an elbow ligament tear, it seemed natural to get reaction from David Wright.

After all, if the mid-market Braves can find that kind of payroll flexibility to address a need within three weeks of Opening Day, why can't the Mets act as swiftly given all of their deficiencies, including at shortstop?

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

David Wright on the Mets' payroll: "It's not my money."

Wright, while applauding Atlanta for its move, nonetheless continued to offer politically correct responses regarding the Mets' paltry payroll -- which is in the neighborhood of $87 million right now. The Braves are at approximately $110 million.

"My responsibility is to play third base, not decide who signs, doesn't sign," Wright told ESPNNewYork.com. "I'm not a part of the decision-making process. I'm here if the front office wants to run an idea or get a player's perspective on something. But I've said it all along: There's got to be that separation of powers.

"I think it's a great move by the Braves. Unfortunately with what happened to Medlen the other day, and I guess [Brandon] Beachy has a little something minor with him, to be able to make that type of move is a strong move from an already good team. But as far as me trying to worry about players that aren't here, I've never been one to do that. And I don't try to concern myself with it."

Wright then was asked directly: Shouldn't a New York organization be more forceful and active?

"I don't know," Wright said. "There's different schools of thought in my opinion. There's been teams that are very successful, for example the Tampa Bay Rays, with relatively low payrolls. And there have been teams that have been very successful like the Dodgers and Yankees with big payrolls. So I'm not sure there's a recipe for success.

"And I've said this a million times: It's not my money that we're spending. Of course, the fan side of me, you want to go out there and sign every free agent, because it's not my money. Like I said, I try not to concern myself with guys that aren't in this clubhouse right now."

A couple of hours later, addressing a group of New York media about Santana signing with the Braves, Wright continued to be effusive in praise.

“They’re a very successful, winning franchise,” Wright said. “And it seems like they make smart decisions. Today is no different. Unfortunately I saw Medlen go down. And to act right away and be able to get a talent like that makes them similarly strong. It’s a nice move. Like I said, they’re a very, very good organization. Moves like this just back that up. It’s a good acquisition. ... It's a luxury for one of your best starters to go down and a few days later you sign one of the premier free-agent starters that's still out there. It's a great move. They've been making great moves since I've been in the big leagues. Now this is no different."