The New York Post reported earlier today that David Wright is more interested in winning championships, than the money he is bound to receive when his contract expires at the end of this year. David states “the money issue for me, I don’t think that will be deciding factor.” David, the fans like the sound of that, but you aren’t the first athlete to utter those words before bolting town for a bigger pay check.
Every athlete says they want to win. For the most part, the fans want to believe that is true. But at the end of the day it will come down to the all mighty dollar signs. David has earned every right to test out free agency. He has played in New York for his entire career in the shadow of his cross city rival Derek Jeter. A player, who I might add, that he has outplayed. No Yankees fans will ever admit that, but it’s the truth.
David is saying all the right things. He doesn’t want this to turn into a media circus. He saw how the Mets handled the Jose Reyes situation last year, so that has to be in the back of his mind. The funny thing is I actually believe what David is saying. Most of the time, when athletes make these statements, they are being disingenuous. Call me naive, but I do think David will opt to stay in New York – that is, if the Mets are willing to resign him.
I think David has a real opportunity to solidify his legacy as a New York Met this offseason. We often see NFL quarterbacks, and other NFL position players, rework their contracts in order to free up salary space so their teams can sign other players that will help them win a championship. If David wants to win that bad, and remain a Met, maybe he can do something similar. This will ultimately be frowned upon by the MLBPA, who wants every player to get as much money as they can in free agency. It would also be a bold move in showing us that these players are motivated by more than the all mighty dollar.
If David agrees to take less money, the Mets might be able to add some pieces to the puzzle, and get back to playing winning baseball. The Mets could also take the money they save by signing Wright at a discount, and sit on it, instead of reinvesting it in players that can help them win a championship. Maybe that’s why David wants to see what the team’s future plans are before making his decision – if he takes less money he probably wants to see a commitment by the Mets to reinvest that money into players that can help them win again.
My gut tells me David wants to retire a Mets player. My brain tells me that his statements were just a good P.R. move – a move, in the game of chess, taking place between a player who has managed to do everything right for the length of his career, and his team. New York Mets – it’s your move.