David Wright’s contract paying dividends so far

David WrightIn November of 2012, David Wright and the Mets came to an agreement on an 8-year, $138 million contract extension. The deal has Wright locked in as the Mets third baseman through his age 37 season in 2020, barring a trade of course. The contract was interesting in two aspects.

First, it was what can be classified as a “second generation” contract. Essentially, Wright will be paid well in the coming years for past production that he realistically won’t match in the latter parts of the contract. It’s the type of contract that, while less frequent these days, dominated the market for much of the 2000’s. It’s also a type of contract that Mets GM Sandy Alderson has generally disparaged, though he left room for exceptions. Wright is obviously one of those exceptions.

Second, the deal is pretty beneficial to the Mets. Make no mistake; Wright is going to be paid very handsomely over the life of the contract. However, according to Cot’s Contracts , Wright will defer $15.5 million over the course of the contract. This deferment reduces the value of it to around $134 million. Additionally, it is a “middle-loaded” contract in that the bulk of Wright’s salary will be paid in 2014-2018 (with each of those years having $2.5 million deferred). The last couple of years see pretty steep drops in his salary. Theoretically, the structure of this contract and the deferments allow the Mets room in the budget to add players without Wright’s contract hamstringing the team, especially at the end of it when his production will most likely have declined significantly. It’s team-friendly in those aspects, and very much falls in line with something that Wright would do.

So how did Wright fair in the first year of that new contract? In a word: fantastic. In 112 games he had a triple slash of .307/.390/.514, 18 home runs, 58 RBI, 17 stolen bases, an OPS+ of 156, and was the starting third baseman for the National League All-Star team.

Of course, one of the key numbers there is that he only played 112 games. Wright suffered a hamstring tear that appeared to be several days in the works. In late July it was clear that something was wrong, but both Wright and the Mets played it down, suggesting that he wouldn’t be playing if there was truly something wrong. Well, it turned out that there was, but that is a discussion for another day. Mets fans will be checking up on the latest bets on their team at sites like http://www.bwin.com/ that’s for sure!

Still, in just 112 games Wright accumulated 6.0 fWAR. That performance was estimated to be worth $29.8 million, well above his $11 million 2013 salary. Had he not gotten hurt, it could very well have been an MVP caliber season. Obviously we can’t expect that type of performance every year, especially as he ages, but so far so good. Keep in mind that Wright really hasn’t had any kind of protection in the lineup over the last several seasons. It’s on the front office to finally surround him with more productive hitters so he no longer has to do it alone.

11 comments for “David Wright’s contract paying dividends so far

  1. Name
    October 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I bet other teams are figuring out how they can acquire Wright like we are doing with other franchise players on other teams.

  2. Joe Vasile
    October 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Louie Pollis came out a few weeks ago saying that one win cost $7,032,099 on the free agency market in 2013. Using that calculation, Wright’s production this year was worth over $42 million. Easily a bargain.

    • Chris F
      October 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Let’s remember these days when his WAR drops down the road!

      • Joe Vasile
        October 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

        Even when Wright’s WAR drops as he ages, the best estimates have Wright earning approximately 30 WAR over the length of the contract. Under today’s value, that makes the production worth $210 million, and that assumes factors such as inflation and overall higher spending on free agents doesn’t skew the $:WAR ratio.

    • Name
      October 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      $7 million per year? Shows you how inefficient the FA market is.

      Also, in reality, Wright is probably worth more than that as each WAR is not worth the same(not linear). The first WAR isn’t worth that much because there are many players out there: Satin, Turner, Young, who can post 1 WAR for pennies. Each WAR should be worth progressively more than the next one, which probably means that Wright’s production would cost, on average, well more than $42 million on the free-agent market.

      On a side note, they should really make WAR indexed so that we can compare 2 players much more easily. Would be harder to calculate value though.

    • October 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      The $29.8 million was FanGraphs’ interpretation of his value. If a WAR has gone up in value that much, yikes. That is indeed an incredible bargain.

  3. pal88
    October 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Worth every dime..In addition to his play, he will be the face of this franchise for years after the conclusion of this deal

  4. October 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Maybe if the Wilpons didn’t own the Mets we could be in the playoffs this year? Maybe if the Wilpons didn’t invest in a ponzi scheme the team wouldn’t be in such a chaotic state we find it in now. Maybe if the Wilpons had divested their investments the team would of re-signed Jose Reyes? Wright deserves better and has far too much class to say anything derogatory towards ownership. Hopefully the team at least gets to the playoffs before his contract ends.

  5. LGNYM
    October 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    He’s the best!!

    And lol I clicked on the link for that last “related post”….yeesh scary to see so many people in favor of trading Wright for nothing

  6. Chris F
    October 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Wrights going nowhere, ever. He will be replacing Seaver as the face of Mets for decades past his playing days. Let’s just hope a WS ring is in his future as well.

  7. Sean Flattery
    October 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    One of the best signings of any team the past few years. He’s the kinda guy you shell out the big bucks for. I can’t help but chuckle at some of the contracts signed the past few years..Carl Crawford being the most obvious

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