5 Reasons $130 Million Is Exactly What Mets Superstar David Wright Deserves
One of the biggest goals for the New York Mets this offseason was signing David Wright to an extension. Rumors about a possible extension for Wright have picked up recently and salary figures for a deal have become available.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has reported that in addition to the $16 million that Wright is due in 2013, the Mets have offered a seven-year contract worth between $119 and $129 million.
The reports of the discussion have seemingly angered Wright, who mentioned to Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors that the information that came out was inaccurate.
If Wright does sign an extension with the Mets, it will be a major deal and Wright will be worth the money that he is paid.
When evaluating a deal, one of the first things that should be should be looked at is comparable contracts. In the past decade, there have been a few deals for top-flight third baseman.
Ryan Zimmerman received a six-year, $100 million contract from the Washington Nationals when he was two years away from free agency (h/t Associated Press via Sports Illustrated). Zimmerman got this extension following an injury-shortened 2011 campaign.
Evan Longoria has gotten two big deals so far in his career. The most recent, which he signed earlier this week, is worth $100 million over six years (2017-2022), and he still receives the $36.6 million that he is due over the next four seasons (h/t Los Angeles Times).
Miguel Cabrera also got a large extension early in his career, signing an eight-year, $153.3 million deal in 2008 (h/t Enrique Rojas of ESPN). However, Cabrera is not a perfect comparison since he was a first baseman at the time he signed the extension.
The last major deal to consider is Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million contract that he signed in 2007 (h/t Associated Press via ESPN). It is clear that the Yankees overpaid Rodriguez, but the deal still provides a guideline for what an elite third baseman can get.
Since the 2006 season, Wright has posted the second highest fWAR of all third basemen (h/t FanGraphs), and his fWAR is higher than those of Zimmerman, Longoria and Rodriguez. The only player that he is trailing is Miguel Cabrera.
Considering that Wright is closer to free agency than most of the other top third basemen that signed big deals, it makes sense that he would get slightly more money than them. Free-agency years are more expensive than arbitration years, and because of that, Wright deserves approximately $130 million over seven years.
Since he reached the major leagues with the New York Mets in 2004, David Wright has only had one poor season. Wright struggled mightily in 2011, but in each other season he has been a big part of the Mets organization.
While it is good that the Mets received surplus value from Wright over the past nine seasons, he is certainly deserving of making some of that value during his next contract.
All-Star Apperances and Awards
It was clear from early in David Wright's career that he was going to be a star. Wright reached the majors at the age of 21 and he batted .293 with 14 home runs in 69 games. The following year, Wright put up good enough numbers that he received 18 points in the MVP voting (h/t Baseball-Reference).
Over the past seven seasons, Wright has made the National League All-Star team six times. In addition to that, he has picked up two Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger awards and has finished in top 10 MVP voting four different times.
David Wright turns 30 years old in December, which means that a six-year extension that kicks in after next season will keep him with the Mets until he's 36.
For the first three or four years of the extension, the Mets can expect a fairly high level of production from Wright. He is a career .301 hitter and has averaged 23 home runs, 91 RBI and 18 stolen bases a year.
Those numbers point to continued success for Wright and they certainly warrant a massive contract.
Face of the Franchise
Few players have been more recognizable in New York Mets history than David Wright. If he stays with the Mets for the next seven seasons, then Wright will likely have his number retired and could eventually go into the Hall of Fame wearing a Mets hat.
Wright has already picked up a number of Mets franchise records before his 30th birthday. The star third baseman already the Mets leader in runs scored (790), hits (1426), doubles (322) and RBI (818) (h/t New York Mets).
With 48 more home runs, Wright would become the Mets all-time leader in that category as well. That is certainly a total that is attainable for Wright over the next few years.
Even if Wright does not produce $130 million worth of value based on his play during an extension, the difference in value will be made up because of his marketability.