In what seems to be a daily conversation we have here on Rising Apple, we heard some more rumors regarding a possible extension for Mets third baseman, David Wright. Joel Sherman of the New York Post broke the story with a straightforward title: “8 years, $143 million should keep Wright with Mets for life.” First of all, if that doesn’t keep you with the only organization you’ve ever played for, I don’t know what will. Secondly, it’s the basis of Sherman’s points that make me scratch my head.
In his article, Sherman said he talked to over 10 executives outside the Mets organization, and every single one he had a conversation with feels the Amazins will be successful in extending Wright. In their opinions, they see the Wilpons viewing this as a PR move as well as a baseball move, locking up their unequivocal leader and face of the franchise for the duration of his career. It’s long been rumored the benchmark in negotiations would be the deal Ryan Zimmerman got last winter from the Nationals; a 6-year/$100 million extension on top of the two years and $26 million he had remaining on his current contract.
So, Sherman said the numbers these officials were coming up with was 7-years and $127 million; once his team option for 2013 for $16 million is included, the overall value of this deal is brought to an eye-popping 8-years/$143 million. That would not only make him the highest paid Met in team history, but the second-highest paid third baseman in baseball history, behind the enormous 10-year/$275 million deal Alex Rodriguez signed with the Yankees in 2007. Sherman is definitely correct; if these are actually what the figures end up being, Wright would be silly to turn down this kind of deal for his childhood team. However, there are a few points here that don’t add up for me.
First, the basis of this entire story is off of the 10 or more executives he spoke to, which just so happen to not be affiliated with the Mets. Why would he be listening to people that are outside the organization? I get it, MLB team executives talk to one another and since they have a great amount of experience, they can speculate rather accurately at times, but the case that is Wright’s potential contract extension is rather special and something the Mets organization really hasn’t dealt with in their history, so I would doubt they’re divulging details.
Second, Sherman also makes the point that getting paid more than both Zimmerman and Johan Santana (6-years/$137.5 million) is important to him. I understand that using Zimmerman’s contract would be a bargaining chip for Wright’s agents since they’re both similar players, but again, these executives cited getting an extension worth more money than either of these players as something Wright wants.
I question this being important to David because of comments he’s made going into the off-season prior to the start of these talks. He specifically said his intention is not to get every last dollar he can possibly get from playing Major League Baseball. He wants to be compensated accordingly, but be able to win and be competitive on a yearly basis. Either way, he’s going to get paid handsomely and the money is going to be there, but the opportunity to win won’t be, and that’s more important to him. Sherman is totally discounting that statement because of what executives outside the Mets organization think. I know a lot of players say it’s not about the money while not meaning it, but I believe David when he says this. He’s a genuine person and has been honest with reports and the fan base throughout his career.
Honestly, paying David $143 million over the next 8 years is too much money for someone who will likely be declining once he enters his early- to mid-30s. However, I understand the alterior motives of the front office and ownership in these negotiations. The figures Sherman outlined in his article this weekend could be right on target, or they could be incredibly off. However, the one thing I do know is that we can’t really take this at face value because we truly have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors between New York and David Wright and co. We just need to sit back and wait for the actual results.
I’ll believe those monster numbers when I see it. Either way, it’s incredibly important to make David Wright a Met for life; it will show fans the organization can commit to the long-term by keeping their most beloved player, and they can then turn their focus on other matters important toward shaping the 2013 roster.