Mets to first offer Wright deal to stay through 2020

Matthew Cerrone , Lead Writer

According to team insiders, the Mets will begin hard negotiations with David Wright by offering a deal that could keep him through 2020.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said yesterday that the Mets will start with a six-year, $100 million offer, which includes an option, similar to what was agreed upon between Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals last winter.

I, too, think this is the template. However, it’s worth noting that Zimmerman’s new deal essentially starts in 2014, after his current deal ends, which is why some people consider it an eight-year, $126 million contract (also with an option).

Based on Heyman’s reporting, along with what I’m hearing, it suggests the Mets intend to offer a six-year deal to start after next season, during which Wright will be paid the $16 million option that completes his current deal. So, the current option (2013) plus the new deal would mean (starting next season) Wright would be under contract for seven years (2013-2019) with another option for 2020.

Naturally, Wright’s camp will ask for more. I’m told they intend to milk talks and draw things out until at least after the World Series, in hopes of reaching a better compromise at the last minute.

I’m guessing here, but (based on the team’s rumored starting point, plus Wright’s assumed counter) I bet the two sides end up haggling over that 2020 option, arguing whether it should be guaranteed. If it’s guaranteed, the result will be almost identical to the eight-year, $126 million number associated with Zimmerman.

Nevertheless, as one person close to the situation told me last season, “This is not going to be handled like last year’s negotiations with Jose Reyes.”

Thankfully, it seems everyone in the organization wants Wright to return, they’re not going to be far off, and all signs indicate he genuinely hopes to stay put and retire having played with one team. Of course, he’s quite clear about also wanting to win a World Series and his camp will let that be known.

For what it’s worth, if a deal can’t be worked out, the Mets will become more serious about trading Wright this winter, as opposed to waiting for next summer. It’s just a feeling I get, based on talks with people around the league. Why? He’d have more value now, given his stats from 2012, and because his new team would get him for a full season. Also, the Mets aren’t winning or selling a ton of tickets these days with Wright, so it might be easier to get new talent now and start marketing it before they take the field in 2013.

That said, unlike with Reyes, I believe the Mets and Wright will eventually work things out… making trade talk a non-issue.