Whatever you hear about what David Wright might be asking or the Mets might be offering, just understand the bar has been set by his contemporaries Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman, Both are close to Wright in terms of age and production. Just not salary.
The Tampa Bay Rays, long known as a team with low payroll agreed to a contract extension over the weekend with Longoria for $100 million over ten years. The deal includes the same terms of his current contract through 2016, then adds an additional ten years. There is an option for 2013.
Who knows if the Rays will be in Tampa by then, but wherever they go, Longoria will be with them.
Then there is Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals, who, after moving into their new park have become big spenders. Zimmerman, who is a long-time friend of Wright’s, signed an extension before spring training last year for $100 million over six years, including the final two years of his current deal plus four more seasons.
Arguments can be made both are better recently than Wright, who after two down seasons bounced back in 2012.
Longoria is the face of the Rays as Wright is to the Mets, but has better power numbers. He is 27 and Wright will be 30 five days before Christmas. Zimmerman is 28.
Remembering Wright is roughly three years older than Longoria and a year older than Zimmerman, he has 204 career homers with an average of 26 a season. Longoria has 130 with an average of 33. If he maintains his current pace, by the time he reaches Wright’s age, he could have 230 career homers.
Zimmerman has 153 career homers, averaging 25 a season.
The Mets maintain re-signing Wright is their priority, but seem close vested as to what they are willing to spend or how long a deal they might give. A ten-year deal like Longoria’s puts Wright close to 40 at the end, and likely well into the downside of his career, much like Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.
The last four years have been below Wright’s standards and include trips to the disabled list for a variety of injuries, all sustained by playing hard. That includes lost time from the Matt Cain beaning, which can’t be termed an “age related” injury.
All that will be considered in the Mets’ offer.
Statistically, the three are fairly even with Longoria having the highest upside. Given that, I don’t see how the Mets could justify anything less than $100 million and six years, although recently I suggested they go $100 million over five years.
The years might vary, but $100 million appears to be the ceiling. Do you see the Mets setting the bar higher?
I didn’t think so.
Longoria’s contract will be argued as the bar for third basemen. It shouldn’t vary by much. The only real question is: Do the Mets want to spend the money?