Despite having the cost-cutting Sandy Alderson installed as general manager, the New York Mets are apparently willing to open the checkbook to keep their biggest star on the team. The Mets are currently in the process of trying to lock up third baseman David Wright, and have now formally offered him an extension.
Earlier in the offseason, the Mets picked up Wright’s $16 million option for 2013 but they want him in place for much longer. The issue is that Wright and his agent are looking for a contract in the neighborhood of Johan Santana’s club-record six-year, $137.5 million deal. That’s going to be a tough, expensive pill to swallow for the cash-strapped Mets.
The Mets want to lock up both Wright and starter R.A. Dickey to extensions, but as of now, Wright’s deal appears to be the more likely to get done. Dickey is under contract for next season at a cost of $5 million, but after a Cy Young Award-worthy campaign, he could easily make more.
The 29-year-old Wright bounced back nicely in 2012 after an injury-plagued 2011 season. He played in 156 games and hit .306 with 21 home runs, 93 RBI and an OPS of .883. His WAR of 6.7 was his highest since 2008, and he also cut down on his strikeouts (112) while upping his walk numbers (81).
The six-time All-Star looked more like himself in 2012 and he is and has been the face of the franchise in New York for some time. There aren’t really any stars playing in Queen right now other than Wright. The Mets simply have to keep him in town.
Alderson may typically rely on keeping costs down, but he’s not stupid. Wright is the guy he has to have on his roster no matter what. He’s worth the money and there is no way Alderson lets him leave town.