It’s time to reward David Wright with a contract extension

Usually, teams should take all the necessary precautions when thinking of handing out long-term extensions to players approaching their 30’s. Heck, the Mets heeded that warning, by not showing Jose Reyes any love and letting him walk this past offseason.

However, sometimes you have to reward the face of a franchise for being there through thick and thin and in this case; it’s time for the Mets to reward David Wright for all his hard work. With a contract extension, the Mets would show the fanbase that they are serious about committing long term to the prospects of this franchise.

I am not imploring this move to be made because of Wright’s hot start either (.516 batting average, two home runs). Although it should be noted Wright has reached base safely at least twice in the first nine games he has played-the longest such streak to start a season by a Met.

No, this investment is to signify that you want a seasoned leader at the helm of your squad to lead you through the tumultuous ups and downs of a franchise headed in a new direction.

With a squad full of young, exciting homegrown prospects, Wright has still come to be the embodiment of the Mets. While Wright has struggled a bit in the last few years-no doubt hampered by injuries- I think he has earned the right to be rewarded with a new contract. Although the Mets should be judicious in how many years they extend Wright, they owe it to the fanbase that they will not let another superstar leave the club. As you can see this is not just baseball related because if Wright left town without a contract extension offer, the backlash from a PR perspective could be catastrophic.

Considering all the financial mess the club was embroiled in, it made sense that they didn’t have the resources to pool enough money to keep both Reyes and Wright. But now that the Madoff issue has been settled, they should have enough money to give Wright a fair deal. Besides, Wright doesn’t have all that much leverage and wants to end his career here. It makes perfect sense to get this done as quickly as possible.

Wright has been the consummate professional in his eight years with the Mets. He has done and said everything in the most professional manner. Not to mention he’s also produced.

With an RBI in Wednesday’s game vs. the Braves, Wright tied Darryl Strawberry for the franchise lead in RBI’s (733). It does not end there. Check out where Wright ranks in other major statistics with the Mets:

WAR: 2nd- 32.6

Offensive WAR: 1st- 38.2
Batting Average: 2nd- .301
On Base Percentage: 4th- .381
Slugging Percentage: 3rd- .509
OPS: 3rd- .890
Runs Scored: 2nd- 704
Hits: 3rd- 1,263
Doubles: 1st- 281
Home Runs: 4th- 185

As you can see, Wright has made his mark and will go down in the annals of Mets’ history regardless if he plays another game or not. And at age 29, Wright should have enough good years left in him to live up to, say, a four or five year contract. If that comes to fruition, Wright will obliterate almost all major offensive Mets’ records.

I realize the drawbacks of signing Wright to a four or five-year deal. Offering a contract to a player who has battled and injuries and inconsistencies ever since Citi Field opened is risky, but it’s not like he didn’t thrive here before. Many people forget that Wright hit .283 with 29 home runs and 103 RBI’s in 157 games at Citi Field in 2010.

With Wright off to the start he is-even thriving with a fractured pinky-you should be able to assess that this is not the same player of last year, who played much of the season with a stress fracture in his back. Wright looks rejuvenated and ready to lead this club in the post Jose Reyes era.

The Mets should do the right thing and lock Wright up long term and avoid the circus-like atmosphere that permeated through the clubhouse last year when it came to Reyes and the constant “will he be traded, or will he stay?” hullabaloo.

Sign Wright and then immediately make him your captain.

This seems like the most logical and “Wright” thing to do.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

6 comments for “It’s time to reward David Wright with a contract extension

  1. Metsense
    April 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Wright is off to a career year start. It is too small a sample size to see if he reverts back to his recent old ways with a high K%. Fortunately the Mets have time because all they need to do is exercise his option and he is a Met in 2013. If Wright is still producing come the all star break, then the Mets should look at an extension and see what it will take to do it. If it is more than what they can afford or want to commit to (this is a separate debate) then look to trade him while his value is high. They could also just exercise his option at the end of the season and then trade him in July 2013. Baseball is a business and the Mets can’t settle on the same return for Wright as they got for Reyes. I hope and believe that this is all going to work out well and Wright, my favorite Met, will be part of the future

  2. Brian Joura
    April 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    If I’m Sandy Alderson, I’m slow-playing the Wright extension talks.

    Now, if Wright and his agent approach the Mets then that’s a different story. But if Wright does not appear eager to sign an extension now, why should the Mets? This will be Wright’s last big-money contract and before the Mets commit to another $100 million-type deal, I think they should have more assurances about Wright’s finger, oblique and back – along with how he’s producing with the new dimensions.

    With the option, the Mets have some security in regards to Wright. I think the Niese extension should be viewed by the fans as some indication that the club will spend money.

    • April 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      I second the approach Brian suggests. I think it’s important for the Mets to decide what they want to do with Wright by next offseason, but there’s a lot of time between now and then and no need to rush.

      I fully expect that the Mets and Wright will ultimately agree to an extension that folds in the 2013 option at some time between the point in the season when (if?) the Mets fall out of contention and, say, the end of January 2013.

      It’s important for the Mets to show the fans that they’re willing to spend money. But it’s even more important for them to be smart when they do spend that money. And IMO, that means sitting on a Wright extension for now.

  3. April 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Haven’t had a chance to read through the full article – I promise I will later! – but I have to disagree with the headline alone.

    Wright’s been a very good player made even better as a homegrown guy. That said, lets be careful about rushing to give him a massive contract because of a few weeks of 2012 ball. If he’s someone who can be productive at the plate, in the field and in the clubhouse for many years to come, I’d consider giving him the long-term deal Reyes was looking for. Just not before a thorough stat and scouting analysis.

  4. Dan Stack
    April 20, 2012 at 6:45 am

    Agree with most of you,give it some time, but not a lot of time. I think this should get done before the All-Star break.

    • Chris F
      April 21, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      I’m with you Dan, getting this done by the ASG is the right pace for me.
      Chris

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