Sandy Alderson spoke for the first time last night regarding the Wall Street Journal article that broke a couple weeks ago stating the general manager was assessing David Wright‘s long-term value to the Mets, en route to silently preparing an offer for a contract extension. As he has been all season, Alderson was very clear about his desire to keep Wright in Queens, but didn’t tip his hand about any potential offer just yet:
"“We can talk about a lot of things that would come up short of an offer and I’m not trying to suggest that we’re going to make one or not make one, or what have you. I’ve said we’d like to have David here long term. I stand by that statement. But I just want to make sure the record is clear.”"
Anthony DiComo states later in his article on Mets.comthat Alderson is definitely planning on speaking to Wright’s agent at some point this season regarding the furture of New York’s franchise third baseman. Despite going 1-for-18 since May 24th, Wright leads the team in just about every offensive category, and his .370 batting average is second in the National League. We all know that the Mets hold a
$16 million option in 2013 on Wright, but after that, he will could potentially be available on the open market if an extension isn’t agreed upon over the next year and a half. It’s been said many times here, and I’ll say it again: Sandy Alderson is a very smart man. He knows how important David Wright is to this team, as well as to the fan base. Just by listening to his name being announced on Monday when I was at the game myself, it’s clear that he is the most popular Met. Alderson will make sure that he’s here long-term, it will just take some time.
Wright has requested to not talk about his pending future beyond 2013 to the media because since he’s under team control for next year, it doesn’t make any sense for him to talk about it just about every night, as he saw Jose Reyes do last year. That’s a very intelligent and classy move by a classy ballplayer. Unlike Reyes, Wright has been a lifelong Mets fan, as well as this being the only organization that he’s played for in his professional career. He wants to be here, and his hot start has shown the front office that he can still be a force in the middle of the New York lineup for years to come.
It seems that Jose just wanted to get the most money possible during his search for a new contract last year, which is fine with me. If that’s what he wanted to do for himself and his family, while getting paid for the amazing talent and energy that he brings to the ballpark everyday, I have no problem with that. However, Wright’s desire to stay with the Mets runs much deeper than the 11 years he’s spent with the organization. His lifelong dream is not complete yet because he hasn’t been able to bring a championship to Flushing yet.
You can tell that even though the organization has gone through some tough times since they were one game away from the World Series in 2006, things are starting to turn around, and Wright can see where this team can be headed in the future. They have a solid manager in Terry Collins and a great foundation of young players and veterans as they rebuild that winning culture from six years ago. He wants to be here when everything comes back full circle and this team is relevant on a consistent basis again. The Mets are on their way to that and Alderson will do what he can to make sure David Wright is still in the orange and blue when the transformation is complete.
Reports are saying that the benchmark for Wright’s extension will land in the range of Ryan Zimmerman‘s six-year/$100 million extension that he got from the Nationals last winter, and that’s a reasonable price for David’s services. Now that the Bernie Madoff fiasco seems to be past the Wilpons and they don’t have to start paying anything back for three years, that actually gives them some financial flexibility (what?!). With the way Sandy has been talking about Wright’s future with the club, it looks as though he had to make a decision last winter as to which cornerstone player was more important to this franchise to lock up long-term. It’s safe to say that when this extension becomes a reality in the coming months, Alderson will be making the right decision.