There is no other way to sugarcoat it. The Mets appear to be stringing along the end of the season.

While it was nice for the Mets to actually score some runs and play spoiler on Friday night by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-3, the Mets are once again headed towards a losing season defined by another stumble to end the season. The Mets are now 4-8 in September.

Aside from R.A. Dickey approaching 20 wins and possibly capturing the Cy Young award, Mets’ fans are being deprived of any positive news to rally around.

However, one such move that could soothe the savage beast known as the ornery Mets’ fan is to finally lock up David Wright long-term this month and finally put this story to bed. David Wright’s contract issue could quickly balloon into a media firestorm if he does not re-sign with the Mets sometime soon. And what better time than the present to sign your franchise third baseman?

I know they are some drawbacks to earmarking a boatload of money towards one player, but in this instance signing Wright is the one time it makes sense. This is the face of the franchise and everything you want in a ballplayer. He is the Mets’ version of Chipper Jones and Derek Jeter. Just look where Wright ranks in the Mets’ major statistical category lists to see how important he has been for this club.

If the Mets sign Wright to a sizeable extension it would show goodwill to the fans and signify that they have plans of building a winning team in Queens and not necessarily a rebuilding one. While it made good business sense to not extend an offer to Jose Reyes, who relies mostly on his injury-prone legs, Wright is a whole different story.

What Wright does on the field and off the field is worth the contract he is asking for. For a financially strapped franchise, I get the point of trying to limit the doling out of big contracts. But after you lock up Wright and hopefully Dickey, you won’t have to put too much into the payroll in the coming years since the Mets have a lot of young, under-control players. And since Jason Bay and Johan Santana’s contracts are about to come off the books soon, the money could be put to good use in locking up Wright.

While the Mets will certainly pick up Wright’s 2013 option for $16 million, they can do themselves and their fans a favor by re-signing Wright before the season is over. Why would the Mets want to have this hang over them for all of next year? Remember how bad it was when Reyes was going through the same issue? It would only serve as a distraction. Create a buzz and go into the 2013 season knowing Wright will be around for the long haul.

While I get that trading Wright while his trade value at its highest point is something that could net the Mets a handsome reward on the trade market, the Mets are in no position to alienate their fanbase anymore after what has transpired the last couple of seasons. Wright simply means too much to the fans.

Goodwill and results is what the Mets need. And it all begins and ends with Wright.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

15 comments on “Hey, Mets! Lock up David Wright long-term already!

  • Chris F

    Emotionally I’m right with you Dan.. Realistically, I think he walks. I hope I’m wrong and he gets a reasonable 5-6 yr deal somewhere between 90-110M.

    He is our Chipper after all….

    • Dennis A. George

      David Wright is the Face of the Mets. Sign him to a long term contract as he has proven his worth. The Mets have a good young core of players to build on. The bullpen is the next hole to fill.

  • norme

    I truly believe he is going to walk. The Wilpons will not/cannot pay him what the market will bear.
    This team, as presently constituted has too many holes to be a true contender in the near future.
    My feeling is that, if the deal is good, the Mets should trade Wright. By good I mean high caliber, young (cheap) talent that can fill some of the team’s needs (OF, catching are examples).
    I would also look to trade Dickey if the same criteria could be met.

    As for the fanbase, it is fickle. Put good, young talent on the field and they will slowly return.
    The fans would return even faster if the Wilpons sold the club.

  • 7train

    It will be very difficult to address any of the numerous glaring weaknesses with the payroll expected to stay the same and costs going up. Johan and Bay go up 9.5 M including their buyouts, Niese goes up 2.75 M, Dickey and Frank 1 M a piece and Thole, Murphy, Ike, Parnell and Gee will all collectively go up in their first arbitration year.

    Sure there’s money coming off but that will all have to be replaced in Hairston, Cedeno, Torres?, Ramirez, Rauch and Shoppach and to be honest performance is bound to go down for whoever we do replace or resign and it may quite possibly cost more than the 12 M collectively these guys are making just to get that lower production. That’s about 20 M (out of 95) more that our current roster will cost and bare minimum 12 M to replace what leaves or is resigned.

    We basically have no chance to improve under the payroll constraints we are under. We have no money for upgrades. We have less money to work with next year than we did this year. OF will most likely include Kirk, Duda, Bay and Baxter along with whoever we can get inexpensively. Thole is bound to start 50 games bare minimum. This is not a good team and won’t begin to have a well conceived roster until 2014 due to Bay and Santana’s contracts therefore I would look to trade Wright to unclog the payroll to some extent if he can also bring back OF and catching prospects in A+ to AA.

    Go with Lutz, (backed by Turner, Murphy, Flores) and use the extra 16 M for a real RFer and a real catcher for 2013-2014 and have a couple of each ready to take over for good in 2015.

    It’s a risk but no riskier than Wright on a 5 year deal and gives us a better chance in 2013-2014 and much more importantly gets us the pieces we don’t have lined up for the future when conceivably we could be competitive.

    A worthwhile trade of Wright may not materialize but if it does would have to be taken advantage of because just resigning Wright and having the same team would result in the same record and 2015 and onward will still be short many key pieces.

    • nym

      I disagree. I suppose its hard to project everything the Mets would/could do but those 3b options with the exception of maybe Flores (though I’d rather see him at 2b) are pretty blech.

      Most catchers aren’t really that great offensively and aren’t likely to be too expensive so I don’t see Wright interfering with what the Mets would be able to do with the catcher situation…nor whoever they add having a huge impact. And as for the OFer…unless there is some superstar bat the Mets would plan to add to the OF I think the money is better spent on Wright. Despite the Mets issues this year it’s generally easier to find a good bat in the OF than a good bat at 3b and I don’t think it should be too hard to find someone that would give them more than whatever Lutz/Turner would give them. I think generic/inexpensive OFer + Wright is likely going to be better than Lutz/Turner + fairly expensive OFer.

      • 7train

        Offense at catcher I’m not too worried about. I’d like some semblance of BA/OBP or SLG but I could easily live with extremely limited offense if it came with great defense, full control of the running game and great rapport with the entire pitching staff. Jerry Grote 2 but the cost of payroll isn’t the issue, it’s the cost of obtaining the catcher that’s the problem. You can live with a Barajas, Blanco, Shoppach ect for a period of time but at some point we really need stability behind the plate. Keeping Wright and paying him 20 M a year and giving up what young catchers have been selling for lately will leave us too short when we are actually able to compete both in regulars and depth.

        OF is another issue. It is entirely likely that our young and close to ready OF prospects may all be part timers at best. Kirk, Lucas, den Dekker, Lagares and Vaughn are giving off that appearance very strongly right now. Baxter is a platoon guy and Spin is a wild card.

        Putting Wright’s 16M in 2013 and 20+ M going forward into a MLB quality catcher and OFer combined with picking up one of each for 2015-2020 in a trade and going with Lutz, Murphy, Turner, Flores IMO gets us better in 2013-2014 with a chance to be MUCH better 2015 and onward.

        That MLB quality catcher and OFer could also be recycled for something else at some point as well when/if the prospects obtained for Wright are ready to take over. The number of teams that would be able to absorb Wright’s salary and need a third basemen would make him pratically untradable. I also don’t see Flores as a long term second basemen as he’s already too slow for the position and hasn’t even started to fill out.

    • Brian Joura

      I’m not sure how and where the team would allocate the buyouts of 2014 contracts. I suppose it depends upon when the payment is due the player. Without knowing this information, I’m not sure the correct place to put it is the 2013 budget. So $8.5 million of the money that you’ve put in for Santana/Bay “raises” *may* not factor into next year’s budget. And that would go a long way towards settling the arbitration increases for the five players you mention. BTW, according to Cot’s neither Turner nor Gee is arb-eligible but Acosta is.

      • 7train

        I’m under the belief that the buyouts go into the previous years payroll because the option has to be picked up or declined in November when the 40 man roster is reset.

        If the option is picked up that player has to be included on the 40, if it’s not then the team becomes liable for payment. Is it immediately? Not really sure but I believe it is the end of year payroll that is subject to luxury tax and that technically speaking the new year begins with the winter meetings at the end of Nov/beginning of Dec.

        I may be wrong about this but that’s the way I understand it. Also thanks for the correction about Gee, sorry for the misinformation.

      • Mack Ade

        I hope the Mets bean counters do everything they can to rid the books of every cent they can before 1-1-2014.

        The Mets need to return to profitability and establish itself with the banking industry, even before they win back the fans.

  • Peter Hyatt

    I’m with Chris on this one….

  • Gary Seagren

    Look I’m a big D.Wright fan but the fact of the matter is he’s not signing for less than 6-7 yrs at 120mil. AND we have to show him (and Dickey for that matter) that we’re headed in the right direction. How in hell are we gonna do that when a decision has to be made this winter? Also look up D.W.’s stats from age 22-25 in Shea to his age 26-29 in Citi-field. He’s down 46 hrs and 122 rbi since since the move into Freddy’s Folly from his Shea #’s. We should get the best possible deals for Wright, Dickey and Davis and stop kidding ourselves that we can compete with the Nats, Braves or Phils any time soon. We have way to many holes to fill and have to use the chips we have now in trades. Branch Rickey said it best: its always better trading a player a year to soon than a year to late.

    • kjs

      He’s going to walk. And he’s my favorite Met since Seaver. But why would he want to be the ‘Face of the Franchise?’ The face of a perpetual, bankrupt loser of a team laying in a half empty stadium? Who is he? The player we saw before the All Star Game or the tired, possibly injured, mediocre batsman we’ve endured since? He’s going to walk; I don’t blame him for walking—the Wilpons are loathesome twerps; and Alderson will be there to lie about an offer they made…

  • Name

    Most of Wright’s value comes from everything other than his hitting. What do i expect from Wright going foward? Probably .280/15-20HR’s/10-15 steals. Those stats alone worth $20+ mil? Not even close. Are there other reasons to give him that much money? Probably.
    For one, all the negative media attention they would get if they did trade him or didn’t resign would cost money that Alderson and co should consider.
    So in my mind Wright really only has the Mets if he wishes to get a huge contract. There’s no reason any other team should be overpaying for him unless they want him just because he’s a big-named player.

  • Metsense

    I would think Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman agreeing to a six-year, $100 million extension is the baseline comp for DW, or 16.7M a year. DW should be offered more and still may turn it down because he wants to play on a winner. He might just tell Wilpon that he has to put together a better team in order for him to stay. Irregardless, something needs to be resolved this winter to avoid a Reyes II from occuring.I hope the Mets can convince Wright that once the Bay/Santana contracts come off the books in 2014 the total money will be reinvested into the team in players and not used for player raises. I hope David stays because he would be too difficult to replace. I think David is going to walk.

  • Dan Stack

    Good comments and discussion here, but if Wright leaves town without a good contract then it’s gonna look real bad. The Mets have to save face. They should realize this!

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