How a New York Mets Collapse Would Affect David Wright's Contract Negotiations
In a world of lunacy, David Wright has remained the level-headed star of the New York Mets since his debut in July of 2004.
Not much has been constant during his tenure as the third basemen of the Mets—aside from turmoil, of course.
Obviously, every sane Mets fan would love to lock up David Wright to an extension that would allow him to finish his illustrious career with the blue and orange.
That much is certain, but has David Wright already made up his mind where he wants to play?
Publicly, Wright has made it clear he will not negotiate his contract during the season. That is not to say he refuses to re-sign with the club. He simply does not want to appear selfish while the team is technically still fighting for a playoff spot.
The last time Wright worked out a deal with the Mets was during the middle of the 2006 season, when he and Jose Reyes both signed club-friendly deals—below mark value—in order to stick with the club.
Reyes has since moved on.
Wright's deal was for six years and valued at $55 million. At the time, it was a no-brainer for both sides involved. Wright was an established, though young, budding star playing for a first-place club.
The Mets were able to lock up a 23-year-old who had already proved he had what it took to succeed in this town.
Should the Mets re-sign Wright regardless of his asking price?
The deal was unequivocally a success for both sides. Wright's annual salary has increased each year, and the Mets have been able to hold onto their fan favorite for the duration of his career.
This time around the scenario is a bit different.
First off, from the perspective of the front office—assuming money is not an issue for their franchise player—Wright should be awarded a deal that is on par with the elite third basemen in the game, sans Alex Rodriguez.
In terms of comparable players, I would look at the contract the Texas Rangers gave to Adrian Beltre prior to the 2011 season as a platform.
The contract was for six years and $96 million. At the time, Beltre was 31-year-old, which is one year younger than David will turn this offseason.
Beltre has been an extremely productive player, averaging roughly 26 home runs, and 96 RBI with Gold Glove defense over his 15-year career.
Texas should have no qualms with the contract considering they have received production on par with the league's best third basemen ever since Beltre was signed.
There is still another aspect to the deal.
Does Wright really want to continue to play for a franchise that last reached the playoffs when he was 23 years old, especially when his prime years will soon reach an end?
The statistical oddity of Wright's career is that he actually had his worst seasons at the ages when most hitters peak: ages 27 and 28.
Granted, the concussion and back injury took a toll on him physically. His strikeout rate increased drastically and his line-drive rate dropped from 26 percent to 22 percent to 18 percent by 2011.
Nevertheless, Wright has been a model citizen even through some of the darkest periods of the franchise.
After the pinnacle of winning the NL East division title in 2006, Wright endured the team's back-to-back collapses, traded superstars, changed management, the opening of a pitcher-friendly ballpark and critical comments of him from Fred Wilpon.
An argument could be made that Wright should rid himself of the negativity of the franchise, cash in with a team that would fully appreciate his production and persona and ultimately have a decent shot of winning a title.
While this could be the case, every indication I get from Wright's demeanor is that he is genuine. When he says he loves New York, he actually does.
I believe he takes great pride in being the leader of the clubhouse, and he wants to be a part of the solution for the franchise he was once the future building block of.
If the Mets allow Wright to sign elsewhere, they will lose virtually their entire fanbase. There would be zero rational reasoning.
Money could not be the issue, considering they would lose millions in revenue if he leaves.
Wright has been one of the top three positional players in franchise history and has never caused any controversy.
No matter what happens the rest of this season, the decision to re-sign David Wright should have already been made.
Would another dreadful second half change this? No. David Wright will be back and he will be part of the better days for the Mets' organization.
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