Two different new stories broke yesterday on MetsBlog about two of the most valuable players on the Mets current roster: R.A. Dickey and David Wright. The topic was one that has been talked about at great length already this year, signing both of them to contract extensions.
Both Dickey and Wright have player options that will be exercised for 2013 ($5 million and $16 million, respectively), but with the types of seasons they’ve been enjoying, the front office should make it a priority to re-sign each of them to deals this winter. However, these cases are interesting because R.A. and David are two totally different players at different stages in their career.
On one hand, it looks as if Dickey just wants some stability and job security, especially since he’s gone through most of his professional career without either of those. He started the conversation with the front office about negotiating an extension and was willing to do it in-season, but the Mets opted to see how 2012 played out. It just so happens that Dickey earned his first All-Star selection, and with a month and a half left in the regular season, he’s tied for third in the NL in ERA (2.72), tied for first in wins (15), fourth in innings pitched (162.1), and tied for first in strikeouts (166).
Whenever someone asks me how old Dicky is and I tell them he’s 38 years old, everyone is always shocked because of the shape he keeps himself in. He may be deep into his professional career, but he’s just hitting his prime as a knuckleballer, and I want him to be in a Mets uniform for at least the next three or four years. As for the dollar amount, we can only speculate, but I don’t feel like he’s going to be asking for an astronomical amount, like Andy McCullogh of the Star Ledger says, especially after getting to know him in his very honest book, Wherever I Wind Up. Those negotiations will be interesting, because it’s pretty clear Dickey has found a home, and doesn’t want to leave.
As for David Wright, he’s is a 29-year-old middle of the order threat that has finally found his stroke again after some tough times. He’s the face of the franchise; when someone says “New York Mets,” one of the first, if not the first player mentioned, is always David Wright. Unlike Dickey, he was not willing to negotiate an extension mid-season because he wants to stay focused on baseball. Clearly, his .323/.415/.533 line shows us that he means business in 2012.
In talking to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Wright expressed a greater desire to win than to get paid handsomely for his services. It makes sense, because no matter where Wright goes, he’s going to receive a contract near the six-year/$100 million deal his buddy Ryan Zimmerman got from the Nationals last winter. So, while he remains optimistic he will remain with the Mets, he wants to be assured that the organization has a plan to head in the right direction.
Wright stated that the future looks bright with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler in the mix, but he wants to make sure he will give himself the best chance to play in and win a World Series. At the end of the day, I think we all know that David Wright wants to remain a Met. He’s talked about how playing for one organization for his entire career is a badge of honor that he wants to have, and he’s had a connection with the Amazins since his childhood.
So, aside from bullpen and outfield help, agreeing to extensions with R.A. Dickey and David Wright should be at the top of Sandy Alderson’s to-do list this winter. These two players represent the game and the organization in the best light possible, and front office can’t let them slip away. We’ve been hearing about “the plan” since he took over the GM job before last season, now he has to sell it to the organization’s cornerstone player and a phenomenal pitcher who has caught the eye of the nation. Don’t shy away now, Sandy.