2012: David Wright’s Extension
After Jose Reyes had walked in free agency after the 2011 season to the division rival Miami Marlins, there was now surrounding pressure building from both the fanbase and the media for Alderson to open up the checkbook and pay one of the biggest Mets homegrown stars in their history in third baseman David Wright. Wright was one year away from free agency and was still at the top of his game as one of the best players in baseball despite turning 30 years old.
Alderson would ultimately get an extension done with Captain America’s agents Sam and Seth Levinson at the 2012 MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville. The deal at length would be a 7-year extension that totaled out to $138 million to continue to be the face of the franchise, despite the Mets struggling on the field over the previous seasons. The Mets were also in an era where they were very budget conscious and it wasn’t necessarily a given that Wright would be offered a lucrative extension due to his age and the Mets payroll situation.
Looking back I don’t believe Mets fans would’ve been able to stomach both Jose Reyes AND David Wright in opposite team uniforms after the 2013 season. I know I wouldn’t have been able to and with the play on the field, it seemed many fans were losing hope. This was a deal that had to be made and despite the results not completely panning out over the length of the deal due to Wright’s injury history, at the time it was one of the most significant moves the Mets could have made to deliver hope to their fanbase that better days were coming.
In 2013 during Spring Training, Wright would be named only the fourth team captain in Mets history. He would also play a significant role in the Mets winning the National League Pennant and their World Series appearance back in 2015. Unfortunately, Wright would ultimately retire at the age of 36 years old due to injuries at the conclusion of the 2018 campaign. However, despite the injuries, Wright was able to produce when in the lineup back in 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons after signing his extension and etched his name in stone as one of the greatest Mets players of all time.