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.
“They should sign David (long term),” he said. “He’s been the face of the franchise for a long time. If they let him go, that’s gonna be difficult to see the New York Mets without David Wright. I can’t imagine that. You never know in this game what’s gonna happen, but I wish all the best to David. He’s a good friend of mine.”
Reyes played in 160 games for the Marlins last season, while hitting .287 with a .347 OBP, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 37 doubles and 40 stolen bases.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In the report, the two authors say, “Reyes wanted to stay a Met, too, but the cash-strapped franchise elected to move in another direction, so he signed a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins.” These words are true, but I don’t know I agree with their meaning…
In the event Reyes goes on to be amazing over the next decade, people will rightfully judge Sandy Alderson’s actions. But, it should be noted that it may have been a decision about talent, just as much as it was about finances. Yes, whether to be more flexible or simply to pinch pennies, the Mets have been working to kill off long-term contracts the last few seasons, which has lowered payroll. But, the question is: Did Alderson refuse to match Miami’s $100 million contract because he didn’t have the money? Or, because he just didn’t think Reyes was worth it, even if he had the money? Frankly, I’ve heard Alderson talk on a few occasions about his disinterest in giving what he calls ‘second-generation contracts,’ which would be what Reyes was seeking and what Wright will be seeking. In his view, these contracts rarely end up being worth it to the team, since they often pay for what a player did not what he’s about to do. Is that smart? I don’t know, but it seems to be a principle he brought with him to the Mets, not something created out of recent budget restrictions.
That said, keep in mind, no other team offered Jose a six-year deal either. Listening to disgruntled fans, and some reporters, you would think there was consensus around baseball that Jose was worth that level contract, and for some bizarre reason (wink, wink, a lack money) the Mets were the onlyteam who disagreed. But, that wasn’t the case. It’s been reported over and over again, and I’ve heard this from insiders as well, that the only team to offer that much money was the Marlins. So, did these other teams all hold back because they too were ‘broke,’ or did they hold off because only the Marlins were crazy enough to spend that much money in one winter? The point is, while I think it’s totally fair to judge Alderson on how he handled Reyes, it’s also worth considering Alderson’s view of Jose’s talent and not just whether he was or wasn’t allowed to spend money on him. For instance, if Sandy simply didn’t want Reyes back, regardless of dollars, because maybe he didn’t trust his talent over the long term, that’s a different criticism than simply ripping him and Ownership for being “cheap.” Maybe it’s both, who knows? Maybe one is a convenient excuse for the other? But, for the purposes of being fair and complete, all sides should be considered, not just the one about dollars.
Lastly, in regards to Wright, so far the Mets have made public statements to indicate they intend to handle his situation differently than they handled Reyes. At the same time, new deal or not, Wright is technically under contract for another season anyway. To truly compare Reyes and Wright, it would have to be on the eve of Wright hitting free agency, which it’s not. That said, talk is cheap… I’m less concerned with what the team or GM says about Wright, and more concerned with what they actually do with him (whether it’s sign him now, next year, or trade him now or next summer).