It’s finally over; Sandy Alderson has some of the clarity he was seeking before he and his fellow front office executives hopped on the plane to Nashville next week for the Winter Meetings. In a report that was first broadcasted by Ed Coleman on WFAN, the two sides have agreed to the richest contract in franchise history, just barely edging out the deal Johan Santana received in 2008. The extension is reportedly worth $122 million over seven years; if we include his $16 million option for next season, the total cost of this deal is eight years and $138 million.
Andy Martino of the NY Daily News tweeted yesterday this could be done after one more conversation with Wright, but his hunch was that an official announcement wouldn’t come for a couple of days. So, I’m happy he was wrong with the second part of his statement, and honestly, Wright would have been crazy not to take this offer, unless he really didn’t want to play for the Mets, which never was the case.
It seems as though fans are split about this extension becoming official; there are some that are elated (like myself) and some that are furious because they feel they’re overpaying Wright and could have used that money in other ways. In all reality, the Mets are just as good (or bad) of a team as they were before this news, and the fact of the matter is that Alderson still has plenty of work to do at the Winter Meetings, where he hopes the Mets will be active. However, it gives him peace of mind knowing he won’t have to answer questions about Wright’s future and he has his star player locked up for the rest of the decade. Now, R.A. Dickey will be next, but I suspect nothing will happen until the Winter Meetings start and he once again gauges his trade value with clubs.
Not only am I happy about this news because David Wright is my favorite player, but he’s their best option at the hot corner for the foreseeable future. Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog said it best; not only do they need his bat in the lineup, but they need his leadership in the clubhouse as this organization tries to return to a winning culture. The front office thinks 2014 is the year this team will be a legitimate playoff contender again, and Wright will still be at the top of his game in ’14, 2015, and 2016, hopefully bringing postseason success back to Flushing. Have the Mets overpaid to keep Wright in the Orange and Blue for his entire career? Yes. However, they treated their cornerstone player with respect after that initial six-year offer; you can’t low ball the face of the franchise. He wanted a little respect, and that’s exactly what the team gave him, rightfully so.
For me, this not only signifies the Mets are willing and able to keep their best players around for the long haul, but this could be the kind deal that starts attracting bigger name free agents to Flushing again. The fences have been moved in, they have what could be one of the best starting rotations in baseball, they’ve seen them lock up their best player, and after these Winter Meetings, it will hopefully be clear as to the kind of plan Alderson is putting into action to make this team become relevant again.
Either way, David Wright is a Met, and will stay a Met for the rest of his days. It will be nice to actually watch David break every franchise record over the next eight seasons, instead of wondering what could of been with him on another team.