“Yahoo Sports reported today the Major League Baseball Players’ Association cleared the Levinsons of any wrongdoing in Melky Cabrera’s cover-up of a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. After Cabrera flunked a test with too much testosterone, an ACES consultant named Juan Nunez allegedly built a fake website to help Cabrera skirt disciplinary action. … In the wake of Cabrera’s suspension, Wright made clear he planned to stay with the Levinsons, who have represented him since the Mets selected him in the first round of the 2001 draft.”
Sandy Alderson said in public that he hoped to get both of these situations resolved as soon as possible. I believe some of this, while knowing nothing ever goes as planned. I wonder if there was a restriction on Wright’s agents, from the MLBPA, which kept them from negotiating a contract while being investigated? Or, maybe they were just busy? Or, perhaps something else is at play? Who knows? The point is, I do think Alderson was genuine when speaking about Wright’s status. I’m not so sure about his comments on Dickey, though, if only because the overwhelming buzz from Citi Field indicates the team will not talk numbers with R.A.’s agents until the team has a good sense of where things are headed with Wright. And, of course, as I mentioned yesterday, Dickey’s situation could impact whether the team tries to trade Jon Niese for a bat.
Puma says Wright is seeking a deal of seven years and $125 million.
In regards to R.A. Dickey, Puma says the Mets will not begin serious negotiations on a new contract with him until Wright’s contract situation is resolved.
In addition, according to Puma, the Mets could decide to trade Dickey if the two sides cannot workout a contract extension this winter.
Meanwhile, Puma says the team would like to acquire a catcher to pair with Josh Thole next winter, and while there is the possibility they could bring Kelly Shoppach back, they would like to see if there are better options available first.
Puma lists David Ross and Miguel Olivo as possible alternatives to Shoppach.
Nov. 1, 7:51 am: As of yesterday, neither Wright nor R.A. Dickey were close to agreeing to a contract, and “there remained a genuine possibility that Dickey could be traded instead,” according to Martino.
The Mets exercised Wright and Dickey’s options for 2013 on Tuesday – they had until yesterday to execute Wright’s option and until tomorrow to execute Dickey’s option.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Posted Oct. 30: I’m still confident a deal will get done between both sides. I don’t think the fact negotiations are going slow is an indication it won’t get done. It’s presumably a very large contract extension, and those deals tend to have more complicated factors which need to be defined by both sides. Taking that into account, it was probably premature to tell the New York Post a deal could be worked out before the World Series, or even by the end of October. But if it gets done sometime in November, or even before the Winter Meetings, that’s fine too – it just needs to get done. The sooner this can be wrapped up, the better things will be for the team, for reasons ranging from the perception of the franchise to being able to project future payrolls and moving onto other immediate needs.
In a post to his blog for ESPN, Jim Bowden says the Mets have “shown the same cavalier attitude” they had in their contract negotiations with David Wright as they did in their negotiations with Jose Reyes last winter.
Bowden says, “Wright’s long-term future in New York is hardly guaranteed,” and notes Sandy Alderson’s willingness to let go or deal notable stars with the A’s and Padres.
However, Bowden still believes the Mets and Wright will eventually agree to a contract extension of seven years and around $18 million per season.
But if the Mets and Wright cannot agree to an extension, Bowden believes the Red Sox, Angels, Diamondbacks, Royals and Rangers could all matchup as trade partners for Alderson this winter.
Michael Baron, Contributor
I suppose I agree with Bowden in that Wright isn’t guaranteed to be a Met for the rest of his career. He isn’t signed beyond 2012, and there’s always the possibility the two sides won’t come to terms on a new deal. But I wouldn’t expect this negotiation to go quickly, either. It’s a big deal with a lot of questions in between for both parties. But, like I said yesterday, it doesn’t matter if it had gotten done in October, or the two sides need more time, as long as they get it done. I admit I’ll be totally at ease only when Wright is standing at the podium in the Caesars Club talking about his future with the organization with his Met hat and jersey on. But I do remain confident this will get done and soon.
The Mets held a $16 million option for Wright and a $5 million option for Dickey – both can become free agents after the 2013 season.
The Mets had until tomorrow to execute their option on Wright and until Friday to execute their option on Dickey.
Michael Baron, Contributor
This isn’t unexpected at all. There was no chance the Mets would decline their options on either. They’re no-brainer, inexpensive options. The question now is when all parties will come to a resolution on extensions beyond 2013, and how these options will play into those potential new deals.
As I said earlier, I’m confident the Mets will get a deal done with Wright. However, I’m less optimistic about Dickey, and I can see the Mets try and deal him this winter. The team reportedly has concerns over his age, contract demands, and the wear and tear an 80 mph knuckleball is having on his arm. But the decision to extend or deal Dickey shouldn’t come down to that. They would be in a better position to debate those issues if they were closer to a championship. Rather, it should be about whether or not Dickey’s presence for the next few years makes them better, whether or not his presence makes the organization healthier, and whether or not he can help put the team on the quickest path to not only being successful in the short-term, but the ability to sustain success over the long-term.
However, while Heyman says the two sides have made progress on a new deal, negotiations have been “slow.” Therefore, if a new agreement cannot be reached by tomorrow, the Mets will exercise Wright’s option for 2013 first, and continue negotiating an extension.
Per the language in Wright’s contract, the Mets have until tomorrow to exercise his option for 2013.
Wright just completed the final year Wright of a six-year, $55 million contract he signed during the 2006 season. He has a $16 million club option for 2013 with a $1 million buyout.
I’m still confident a deal will get done between both sides. I don’t think the fact negotiations are going slow is an indication it won’t get done. It’s presumably a very large contract extension, and those deals tend to have more complicated factors which need to be defined by both sides. Taking that into account, it was probably premature to tell the New York Post a deal could be worked out before the World Series, or even by the end of October. But if it gets done sometime in November, or even before the Winter Meetings, that’s fine too – it just needs to get done. The sooner this can be wrapped up, the better things will be for the team, for reasons ranging from the perception of the franchise to being able to project future payrolls and moving onto other immediate needs.
In his column for the New York Post, Joel Sherman says “ten officials” outside the Mets organization believe if the Mets offer David Wright a seven-year, $127 million contract extension, in addition to his $16 million option for 2013, that should be enough to convince him to stay with the Mets.
The total suggested package would be for eight years and $143 million, and that would make Wright the highest paid player in franchise history.
However, all ten of Sherman’s officials believe topping both Johan Santana’s six-year, $137.5 million and Ryan Zimmerman’s total package of eight years and $126 million are important to Wright.
With that said, all ten of the officials Sherman spoke to believe the Mets will sign Wright to an extension.
“This would be a pretty good deal for both parties,” another NL executive told Sherman of the suggested deal. “[Wright] is still a very good player and when you look at his age and position, there is a little less risk than most guys entering their 30s.”
The average annual salary of the suggested deal, including his 2013 option, is a shade under $18 million a year – the extension itself averages just above $18 million per season. And, the suggested deal wouldn’t even be on the books for next year, at least nothing more than the value for his option which existed anyway. I think that’s a fair and reasonable deal for a star player in New York, and the Mets should sign him at that figure. If the Mets can get something along those lines done – and soon – it would end the questions, speculation and uncertainty about Wright’s future, but it would also go a very long way towards showing the Mets are once again capable of investing big money in the marketplace, even if they don’t intend to do so this winter. That’s important considering what the perception is of their abilities to make payroll investments now.
I expect the Mets will exercise Wright’s option for next season no matter what – they have until five days after the conclusion of the World Series to get that done. As I’ve said, the language from both sides indicates there is strong mutual interest to get a deal done. But it’s not reasonable to set a timetable on it, nor is it reasonable to think the Mets can snap their fingers and get a new deal done. The Mets have publicly stated they intend to handle Wright’s contract situation different than that of Jose Reyes last winter – considering how that turned out, their words are encouraging. But actions speak louder than words, especially as they try and change the perception of the state of the franchise.
That said, though Alderson has spoken to both Wright and Dickey about his long-term plan, and though he has told them both he would like them back, Alderson and their respective agents are still ‘talking about when to really get talking,’ according to a team source.
The Mets hold club options on both Wright and Dickey for 2013 (combined $21 million) for 2013. However, both players have said they will become free agents at the end of next season, assuming new contracts cannot be worked out this winter with the Mets.
Michael Baron, Contributor
I expect the Mets to immediately pick up both of their options once the World Series ends. At that point, Alderson will have time to potentially work out long-term deals with both players. I still expect the Mets to focus on Wright first, and then see how things shake out with R.A. But the sooner they can wrap up these deals, the better off they’ll be. For starters, it would show the Mets have an ability and desire to invest in the Major League roster, which Wright has said is an important factor in his decision. Second, it would bring certainty that two star-caliber players will be back next season and here for future seasons (without the cloud of trade speculation hanging over everyone’s heads). Lastly, with these two players under new contracts, Alderson would be able to better project future rosters and budgets.