In a report for ESPN New York, David Wright discusses with Adam Rubin his thoughts about the Mets, his next contract, Jose Reyes and what he’s looking for in terms of a vision from the Mets about the direction of the franchise.
Rubin writes “Wright has resolved to test free agency during the 2013-14 offseason if no extension can be consummated this winter. He does not want in-season dialogue.”
Wright said he always expected Jose Reyes would be back after last season, and said, “Yeah, of course it opens your eyes. It makes you realize in a lot of ways there is an ugly business side to this.”
Wright is encouraged by the advancements in the Mets’ Minor League system, but wants to know the Mets will be able to invest in the Major League roster, saying, “it’s important that we can make a trade or sign a free agent and be able to spend some money. … And that’s why I’m going to sit down with these guys at some point and discuss it.”
Wright indicated once again he isn’t necessarily seeking top dollar in his next contract, telling Rubin, “I’d rather be somewhere where I feel like I can win.”
Wright is hopeful he finishes his career with the Mets, but understands this is a business.
“I’ve never thought about putting on a different uniform. Hopefully that never happens. But you never know what the future holds,” Wright told Rubin.
In another post to ESPN New York, Wright told Rubin he is optimistic a deal will get done with the Mets.
“The optimism is I’m hopeful,” Wright said, according to Rubin. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here. We’ve obviously gone through some tough seasons. I’m not lying. I’ve really enjoyed it. I have a lot of really close friends … I enjoy it here. I enjoy New York. I feel like the fans and followers of the team really welcomed me with open arms. They’ve seen the ups and downs, obviously. And they’ve stuck right by me. And I’m appreciative.”
For Michael Baron's thoughts on Wright's comments, click here
Michael Baron, ContributorI don’t blame Wright for feeling the way he does. He’s been through a lot with this organization, especially recently when there’s mostly been a negative tone surrounding the team. Ultimately, it will have to be the Mets who step up and do whatever it takes to retain Wright – that clearly begins by answering his questions about the franchise’s direction along with ending his skepticism about the future.
On the flip side, I am concerned about the correction to David Wright’s season in the second half. I do think if he is surrounded by better players, slumps like the one experienced after the All-Star break might be limited. After that first half, there wasn’t a prayer he was going to get much to hit in the second half, especially against teams in the hunt. But he wasn’t able to adjust back consistently, and his .257 average since the break is a reflection of that. From the team’s perspective, it’s fair to evaluate that when it comes to deciding what’s next in this relationship. But they do have to take ownership of the faults on the roster and what kind of impact that has had on Wright as well.
I do believe the two sides will work out a new contract that takes Wright to the end of his career. Like I said earlier, Wright’s value goes beyond what he does on the field – he is a signature player in the history of the New York Mets, a home-grown superstar which is vital to their identity and brand, and is the connection between the team and the fans. Based on what the two sides have consistently said about this issue over time, it sounds as though there is common interest to get a deal done despite Wright’s questions about the franchise. But again, I don’t think the Mets can waive a magic wand and get this done. Actions speak louder than words and the Mets have a lot to prove both to the player and to the game they have the ability and desire to invest in their roster all while becoming a consistent winner.
Last week, in a poll on MetsBlog.com, 67 percent of voters said the Mets should try to sign Wright to a six- or seven-year contract extension this winter; while 12 percent said the team should blow him away with an eight-or nine-year deal. That said, while just three percent said the Mets should pick up his option and let him be a free agent after next year, 17 percent said the Mets should pick up his option and trade him this winter for prospects.
For more from Wright, including his thoughts on Chipper Jones, playing for the Yankees, and the prospects of the team’s payroll being constrained, check out ESPN New York.