|Expect David Wright to stay a Met||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on October 11, 2012
However, Wright has an option year coming up, and if the Mets don’t work out a deal soon, he may test free agency for the 2014 season.
If Wright does get to that point, it’s unlikely he’ll return wearing the Mets’ orange and blue. The Mets’ financial struggles may preclude them from offering Wright the money that another team may be willing to offer.
Recently, the Mets seemed confident that they’d be able to work out a contract extension with Wright as well as NL Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey, who also have an option year in 2013. In fact, the Mets would like to get both these deals done before the start of the World Series.
Photo by Keith Allison, used under creative commons license.
Wright will be 30 to start the 2013 season, and he’s coming off an offensive year in which he was red hot out of the gate but limped to the finish. Still, Wright was basically the only form of consistent offensive production on the Mets, which shows how important he is to the team.
The fanbase thoroughly wants to see Wright finish his career in a Mets uniform. This same fanbase has appeared unhappy with the Mets’ new regime, so re-signing Wright may be a positive step towards reviving the image of the franchise.
Wright and Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman were teammates back in their youth days in Virginia. The two have also turned in similar stats over their careers. Zimmerman signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension in February, so that might be the barometer for Wright.
The Mets will have $40 million in payroll coming off the books after 2013 when the contracts of the injury-prone Johan Santana and the completely lost Jason Bay run out. The team will have many needs to address, but they’d be wise to lock up Wright beforehand.
A five- or six-year extension for $100-120 million should get a deal done. As a position player, Wright will likely be a higher priority than Dickey, who pitches every fifth day.
While Wright is the face of the franchise, the Mets are coming off a season in which they won just 74 games, their lowest total since 70 wins in 2009. There’s an argument that the Mets can still win this few games and miss the playoffs without Wright, so why would they spend the money if they aren’t going to improve in other areas as well?
Wright though is definitely more part of the solution than part of the problem. If the Mets can work out reasonable deals for Wright and Dickey and maybe acquire talent via trade, the team can at least get back to respectability.
Wright has said he loves playing in New York, but he’s also in a position in which he knows that the team is desperate to re-sign him. If the two sides can’t work out a deal, the Mets may exercise the option but then look to trade Wright so they at least get something back in return.
All signs are pointing to Wright returning to the Mets, but the Mets have a limited window to get this deal done.