This has truly been quite the week for David Wright extension news. On Tuesday, we heard Jon Heyman of CBS Sports say Wright’s camp and the Mets were going through negotiations, but it’s been going slow, which happens with a deal of this magnitude on the table. Then, we heard reports from two reporters that were on either side of the spectrum, and were made public within hours of one another.
First, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News published an article early yesterday morning that seemed positive for Mets fans in favor of signing their superstar third baseman to a long-term contract extension. Martino reported that negotiations on either side hadn’t gotten very involved throughout much of October, without talks of years and dollars, but now that Wright’s $16 million option for 2013 has officially been exercised by the organization, the two sides have plans to bring it to the next level. It was reiterated once again that the organization is determined to keep Wright in the Orange and Blue, something that was never said last winter when Jose Reyes hit free agency.
About 12 hours after this article hit the internet, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted that although both sides continue on-going talks, a source has told him that recent negotiations are stuck in neutral. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York also sheds some light on Puma’s comments by referencing an article Jim Bowden wrote about Wright and the Mets. Bowden points out the organization is using the same attitude in their talks with Wright that they used with Reyes last year, and we all know how that turned out. He also pointed out that Sandy Alderson is not afraid to make a bold move and get rid of a team’s star player (Trevor Hoffman, Bruce Bochy, Jose Canseco, to name a few).
So, there are plenty of different scenarios here, with multiple ones showing up in a matter of hours. However, like most media these days, there is a focus on the negative news instead of the positive news. Maybe it’s because I try to be an optimist, but I don’t understand how talks intensify in the morning, then all of a sudden, are put in “neutral” by mid-afternoon. Although I haven’t sit in on contract negotiations between and team and it’s star player, I find it hard to believe the chats between David Wright and the Mets went from one extreme to another that quickly, at this stage of the process. I do enjoy reading articles written by both Martino and Puma, but the fact that they work for competing newspapers makes their contrasting reports seem a little fishy to me.
As for the references to the Reyes situation Bowden made, if the Mets are employing the same attitude as last winter, they’re certainly fooling the public. The entire tone around Alderson’s desire to keep Wright in Flushing for the long-term seems much more sincere and committed than he did a year ago. When it comes to the “cavalier” attitude that is repeating itself, maybe this is how Alderson does his negotiating; the only other time he’s been in this situation with the Mets is last year with Reyes. Plus, David Wright means way more to the Mets organization than Jose Reyes ever did, and you can hear it in the tone of David’s voice when he talks about his hopes of signing an extension.
Lastly, this is why they’re called negotiations. Both sides have to compromise and give a little bit to get the result they both want. If Alderson just laid down and gave Wright and his agents everything they wanted, then it wouldn’t be called negotiations, it would be called surrendering. He needs to send a firm message that David is vitally important to this team, yes, but it’s not as if losing him would throw the organization out of whack. So, I applaud Alderson for sticking to his guns during these talks and not giving in just for the sake of getting an agreement quickly.
At the end of the day, these negative reports may be entirely true and I’m totally wrong, which wouldn’t be a surprise, since I’m not an inside reporter with all of these proclaimed “sources.” There is so much speculation, especially as Heyman brought up the point that ownership wants to keep these talks under wraps as much as possible, probably for the reason that Wright is their franchise player and the minor details that don’t matter shouldn’t be broadcasted for the whole nation to see. If I had to believe any of these guys, I would go with Heyman; not only because I think he consistently reports the most accurate rumors, but because his report makes the most sense to me.
So, there is no time to panic; $100 million deals don’t happen in the blink of an eye, especially when it’s for a soon-to-be 30-year-old player. For all we know, these reports are being published because the real facts are being covered up quite well.