Seeing this news yesterday was music to my ears. Although David Wright has struggled in the second half (.251/.340/.401) after an All-Star first half (.351/.441/.563), Sandy Alderson has not changed his point of view about wanting to keep the third baseman in the Orange and Blue for the long term. To further move the possibility of this along, MLB Trade Rumors broke a story from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports yesterday, saying Wright is “extremely optimistic” about getting a deal done.
Of the many things Wright said, he doesn’t have a single complaint about the organization (which is shocking to me), as they drafted him, help mold him into the player that he is today, and help make his dream of playing a game for his professional career a possibility. He also went on to say that the franchise has been taking small steps in the right direction since Alderson took over in the front office, and he would like to be part of the success. Wright also mentioned that he feels as though he’s a loyal person, and would like his career to mirror one of his childhood hero, Cal Ripken, Jr:
“My favorite player was Cal Ripken, The biggest reason for that was I like that he stayed.”
With an option worth $16 million for 2013, the Mets have some breathing room when it comes to negotiating a deal with their star player, but this winter is the time they would like to make things official. Alderson tried to start negotiations earlier this year, but
Wright said he is not willing to have contract talks during the season, and he will go by the same rules next season. So, it behooves the Mets to get a deal done once 2012 comes to a close, before he has the opportunity to become a free agent. Executives from other teams feel that Wright is worth around $20 million a season, and Heyman mentioned in his article that an eight-year/$160 million deal could be a reality for both sides. Despite all the financial issues New York has had and rumors about their tight budget going into 2013, the organization hasn’t wavered about the possibility of signing Wright, who said he’d like a deal that would take him to the end of his career.
Now, I’m not shocked at all by what Wright said; in fact, that’s what I was expecting to hear because he’s that kind of player and person. Although the last six years have been anything but smooth, David knows he’s the face of this franchise, and he loves that. He enjoys playing in New York and saw the kind of rewards winning in such a big market brought. For Mets fans, Wright has been our Derek Jeter since he came through the farm system and made his debut in 2004. I don’t doubt Sandy’s desire to keep David around through the end of his career, it’s just hard for me to believe that they have enough budget flexibility to pay him $20 million a year. So, this saga is far from over, but unlike Jose Reyes, it’s nice knowing that Wright truly wants to stay in New York with the Mets for the rest of his career, and is willing to sacrifice a little to do so.
In other news, Mike Pelfrey met up with his teammates for the first time since he went down with an elbow injury in April, followed by Tommy John surgery. While he was in St. Louis, Pelfrey threw in the outfield yesterday, and apparently feels great. According to another rehabbing Mets pitcher in Dillon Gee, he told Kevin Burkhardt that he couldn’t even tell that Big Pelf had surgery at all. Pelfrey signed a one-year/$5.7 million deal at the start of the year, and while he was in danger of being cut in Spring Training, he went 0-0 with a 2.29 ERA in three starts before he went down with the injury.
It’s likely that New York will non-tender Pelfrey because if they offer him a contract, arbitration rules say he can’t earn less than 80% of his previous year’s contract. However, if they cut him loose, they’d be able to bring him back for a much cheaper price. Michael Baron of MetsBlog made a good point in the argument to re-sign him to a minor league deal, as it would allow him to do his rehab in a familiar place with familiar staff, and he could be an asset for the Mets once he’s ready to take the mound again, which is projected to be around May 1st.