Joel Sherman of the New York Post lays it all out on the line today. He speculates that to keep Wright the Mets will have to give him an eight-year, $143 million dollar deal which includes the option year. Basically, it’s a seven year, $127 million extension on top of his $16 million option year for 2013.
The consensus among the executives spoken to is that Mets ownership sees this — at least partially — as a public-relations signing as much as a baseball one. As one NL official said, “If they can’t sign their best player after letting Jose Reyes go, what are they telling their fans? They might be damning themselves to bad crowds and bad press for quite a while.”
In canvassing the officials, the terms that came up most often was about seven years at $127 million. Wright’s buddy, Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman, received a six-year, $100 million extension last spring that when combined with the two remaining seasons left on his old contract was worth $126 million over eight seasons. Thus, Wright would top Zimmerman both in total worth of contract and also average annual value, which would make him second ever among third basemen in both categories to the 10-year, $275 million extension Rodriguez signed with the Yankees.
Also, Wright is due $16 million on a 2013 option. The Mets have until five days after the World Series to trigger that option. If they can finalize the extension before then and add the option, under this scenario, Wright’s total future package would be worth $143 million over eight seasons.
Why is that important? Because it would make Wright the highest-paid Met in history in total package, topping the $137.5 million that Johan Santana received.
The officials said they thought topping Zimmerman and Santana would be benchmarks important to Wright and his representatives.
I’ve mentioned such numbers before, but usually get hit with comments saying “no way” or “he won’t get anything close to that” of “what are those numbers based on”. Now these numbers are what you always hear from everyone including rival GM’s, MLB executives, and beat writers from the Mets and also other teams.
When I said he would get more than Ryan Zimmerman, I was told “no way, Zimmerman is better and younger”. I kept biting my tongue and just waited until everyone else caught up with reality and how baseball economics actually works. Salaries never go down they only go up, and when you are a top five player at your position they go up exponentially.
You already know my feelings on this.
Wright’s best season was in 2008 and with a deal like this he will be 37 years old in the final year. However, I expect the Mets will do everything possible to get something done, even if it means overpaying him and giving him the second generation contract which is exactly what Omar Minaya would have done.
Alderson will in fact have given a player the biggest contract in franchise history and he’d be doing it on a player who will be 31 when the new deal kicks in, not 28 like Beltran or 29 like Santana.
I believe three years from now, the Mets will be spelling the word “albatross” like this: W-R-I-G-H-T.
Yesterday, Mets owner Fred Wilpon unwittingly referred to Sandy Alderson as the face of this franchise. At the time I thought it was funny, I thought it was preposterous, but I believed it to be true and labeled him as such over a year ago. If Alderson does sign Wright to a monster deal like this one, he will clinch the title of face of the franchise because this contract will be his defining moment, his downfall, and part of the mess his replacement will get charged with cleaning up. By now Mets fans know the routine. You see, I told you nothing has changed.