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The Blue Jays could have had David Wright

Oct 23, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

I’m sure dozens of unconsummated trade proposals happen ever year that, if followed up on a few years later, would make people utterly sick.  MVP candidates who could have been had for a song when they were kids, prospect-for-prospect deals that could have totally changed the face of the game if someone had actually pulled the trigger. People tend not to talk about those things too often, however, be it due to a failure of memory or a very human unwillingness to dwell on roads not taken.

But ESPN’s Keith Law remembers a doozy from back when he was J.P. Ricciardi’s assistant in Toronto. Would you believe the Mets offering up a young David Wright for a soon-to-be free agent Jose Cruz Jr.?

I’ve been asked about that trade rumor for three years but never answered while Ricciardi was still GM. The offer was made, though; I was there when the call came in. It was the first time I’d heard of Wright, since I wasn’t with Toronto in 2001 nor had I followed the draft when Wright was in it. JP’s reaction was, “I’m not trading a major league player for some guy in the Sally League.” And that was pretty much that.

Now, to be fair, at the time the Blue Jays had Eric Hinske manning third base. He was 24, went on to win the Rookie of the Year award that year, and was generally expected to be The Man at the hot corner in Toronto for a long time.  Wright was playing third for the Capital City Bombers, hitting .266 with minimal power.  I have no clue how he was thought of then, but it’s not like he was getting the press of a can’t-miss-stud or anything.  If the Mets were shopping him to Toronto, they were probably shopping him elsewhere too, and everyone else took a pass, so it’s not like we should pile on Ricciardi for this. Especially when there are so many better reasons to pile on.

Just an interesting insight into front office life.  The kind of insight that, if Keith decides he doesn’t want to work in a front office again, would fit really nicely into a big book about front office life.  Hint hint, Keith.

  1. Dan - Oct 23, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    This is old news. Bob Elliot reported it in 2006.
    http://www.mikesmets.com/2007/03/steve_phillips_boy_genius.html
    (The link to the original article is dead. Stupid old media!)

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 23, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Ah. Wasn’t aware of that, Dan. Thanks for the heads up. And I never knew that Jose Reyes was offered to Cleveland in the Alomar trade. Mercy.
    Still, I suppose the Blue Jays’ perspective on it is new.

  3. comeonman - Oct 23, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    As a Native New Yorker I root for the Yankees and Mets, yeah I know all the BS will start because I root for both teams, anyway I think the Mets should see what is available for Wright and Reyes, we haven’t won a darn thing with them and Philly is back in the Series again and they seem to be in it for the long haul.The Mets need a player who can carry them on those tough nights and Wright and Reyes
    are not that type of player since the NL Championship game 7 the Mets have done nothing in Baseball and see what we can get for Beltran too, 150 million in payroll and this team vomitted in it’s mout last year!!!!

  4. comeonman - Oct 23, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    As a Native New Yorker I root for the Yankees and Mets, yeah I know all the BS will start because I root for both teams, anyway I think the Mets should see what is available for Wright and Reyes, we haven’t won a darn thing with them and Philly is back in the Series again and they seem to be in it for the long haul.The Mets need a player who can carry them on those tough nights and Wright and Reyes
    are not that type of player since the NL Championship game 7 the Mets have done nothing in Baseball and see what we can get for Beltran too, 150 million in payroll and this team vomitted in it’s mout last year!!!!

  5. Old Gator - Oct 23, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    Well, so what? David Wright could have had Madonna.
    But then, who couldn’t?
    I suspect, though, that when he found out he could NOT have Margo Timmins, he decided he might as well stay in New York.

  6. northernexposure - Oct 23, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Gator – Margo’s been off the market for something like twenty years now.
    You from Toronto or just a llama? You gotta be one or the other to even have thought of that one.

  7. Old Gator - Oct 23, 2009 at 4:17 PM

    Heh, you smoked me out, sort of. Llama it is. I was last in Toronto in May; saw a Jays game at the Rogers (when they were still in first place and had just won ten of twelve), then went out to Coburg to see Margo and the guys at the Park Playhouse with some friends from the Big T. I’m a little older than that certain generation of straight Canadian males every one of whom had a crush on her in the mid to late 80s but to tell you the truth, she could still be a centerfold at, what, 51 or 52? And she can still sing. Oh boy.
    Toronto is a great town, especially the restaurant life there. Wow. One of the things I love most about it, though, is that it’s nearly impossible to find a cheese steak sandwich there. It’s a nice, safe feeling for your entire circulatory system.

  8. northernexposure - Oct 23, 2009 at 10:44 PM

    Cheese steak? thats nothing. Ever heard of poutine? It’s a little Canadian truck stop speciality that makes cheese steaks look like some anti-cholestoral treatment. But I still am not sure – sounds from your comment that you are (or were) from Toronto or are a Canadian living in the States. You mention to “the Rogers” like a Toronto native. Or maybe your still just bitter about the Expos leaving?

  9. Old Gator - Oct 24, 2009 at 5:32 AM

    Poutine. Dear Buddha. French fries covered with brown gravy and melted cheese. Throw in a bunch of hamburger meat if you want to do it New Brunswick style, where they correctly called it a “mess.” There was a little restaurant called “M. Poutine” on the river road to Mont Ste. Anne about a mile beyond that Jesus-O-Rama theater. Took my kids there several times because they loved the stuff. I wondered if I could be prosecuted for child abuse for letting them have it. We used to go ski up there every February because they had a great children’s training program and we got to attend Winter Festival in Quebec City, which is always great fun.
    Nope, not Canadian nor Toronto-an. Floridian. Just love the town and spent a lot of summers up in Canada hiking, fishing, stuffing myself with cheap lobster in the Maritimes and cheap salmon in coastal BC (love Vancouver as well). The lobster’s still cheap but the salmon…well, bear meat and venison are less per pound now.

  10. R Jones - Oct 24, 2009 at 9:50 AM

    I don’t find this surprising at all, as JP never had a very good eye for talent. What surprises me less is the nasty insult that he hurled at Wright, upon being asked to make a trade, when stating that he didn’t want some guy from a sally league. This insult melds perfectly with Ricciardi’s personality and the utter jerk that he was. During a radio call in program, when JP was fielding questions from the audience, a fan made the mistake of suggesting to the egomaniacal GM that he should try and get Adam Dunn. JP flew off of the handle and attacked the fan for his stupidity by absolutely trashing Dunn’s abilities and character. Of course, JP didn’t know Dunn from a hole in the ground, as, he had never met him.
    Speaking of trades, the Jays had Jayson Werth in the 2002-03 seasons, a player who at the time, I believed was going to be a good one. JP traded him for Jason Frazier. While, Frazier has been decent guy out of the bullpen, let’s face it, Werth turned out to be the player that myself and many others believed that he would be.

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