In a recent interview with Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, David Wright said many things that encouraged Mets fans about him staying with the club for the long haul. Not only did he say he was extremely optimistic about a deal getting done this winter, but he has hopes his next contract will take him to his retirement. Thankfully for Wright, Sandy Alderson and the front office are thinking the same thing.
It was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that New York will look to start negotiations with their franchise third baseman at approximately $100 million. If you remember the extension Ryan Zimmermanreceived from the Nationals last winter (six-year/$100 million), it has been long-believed that deal would be the benchmark for negotiations. Wright will be turning 30 this December, and Heyman reported a source familiar with the Mets’ thinking said the team would look to give the third baseman a six- or seven-year extension, but also work in options at the end of the deal, ensuring that David could remain with the club if he continues to produce on the field.
A few days ago, a separate report said deals could be done for both Wright and R.A. Dickey by the start of the World Series, and the front office doesn’t plan on even entertaining a potential offer for Wright without making a valiant effort to re-sign him first. This current time window is the best they have; his option for 2013 doesn’t have to be activated until November, and the unofficial captain of the Mets has already stated that he would test free agency next winter if a deal isn’t done. Rubin believes he could get much more on the open market if he wanted to, but it’s clear where Wright’s allegiances lay, as he’d rather be satisfied and comfortable where he is instead of earning as much money as possible, which is refreshing in today’s game.
There are plenty of people in favor of retaining Wright for the long-term, but there are just as many people on the other side of the fence who feel he should be traded away for multiple prospects. However, as the elder statesman in the clubhouse, this young team needs a captain to lead the way as they continue to work towards being a legitimate World Series contender again. Someone with experience in the Majors and someone who knows how to handle the New York media is exactly what the psyche of this team needs. The Mets inking David Wright to an extension should have never been a question as if, but when. He’s the face of the franchise, will be an integral part of their success moving forward, and despite having a tough time since he signed that six-year/$55 million extension back in 2006, he still wants to stay in Flushing. Alderson needs to continue moving quickly to agree to terms with Wright, then officially announce him as captain of the New York Mets. Period.
As for Dickey, it looks as though negotiations will be a little trickier. After a Cy Young caliber season, the knuckler has some leverage in his camp, but at the age of 38, it may be tough to earn a three- or four-year deal. Yes, he throws a knuckleball, a pitch that allows players to stay in the Majors into their mid-40s, but he’s unlike any other knuckleballer we’ve seen throw the pitch. Heyman stated in his article that although Dickey is looking for a deal similar to the one Oliver Perez received (three-years/$36 million), the front office is concerned about extending their hurler more than two years.
The one thing Terry Collins said repeatedly about R.A. all season is that he’s all about winning and putting the team first. I understand he wants to get compensated for his services, especially once he sees how David Wright is compensated, but there is no way he’ll be getting $15 million a year, like an opposing GM said to Heyman. His $5 million option for next year will surely be a bargain and he deserves more, but I find it hard to believe that Dickey would be willing to handcuff the Mets financially for the duration of his contract so he can get the money he wants. He doesn’t seem like that kind of person, and at this stage in his career, comfort and security are likely more important to him. As long as he gets those two things, the money will come.
It will be interesting to see the truth behind the negotiations with Dickey, as not much has been said about R.A.’s potential contract, compared to the publicity the Wright negotiations have been getting. Either way, Alderson has his priorities right; he’s talking to both of New York’s best players at the same time, but it’s more important to lock Wright up first before Dickey.
What do you think; should extending Wright first before Dickey be a priority for the Mets, or the other way around?