Eddie Coleman of WFAN first reported the news:
After the Mets picked up a team option for $16 million for next year, Wright was due to hit the open market after the 2013 season. The team did not let that happen and made a move that will keep him on the roster through 2020.
The total contract of $138 million is slightly more than the $137.5 million that pitcher Johan Santana received only a few years ago. It is only fitting that the richest contract goes to the player who owns most of the other career records for the franchise.
Last season, Wright became the all-time leader in total hits and currently stands at 1,426. He also leads the Mets in career runs, RBI and doubles.
He finished tied for sixth in the MVP voting in 2012 after hitting .306 with 21 home runs and 93 RBI. His 6.7 wins above replacement were the fifth most in the National League.
However, this contract is more than just keeping a great player on the team for a number of years. Wright has become the most popular player on the roster, and his presence is one of the reasons that fans continue to come to the stadium.
Fan support has slowed in recent years after four straight losing seasons and countless questionable moves by management, including big contracts for Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.
This is all on top of financial issues, stemming from the Bernie Madoff scandal, that saw the largest team payroll drop in MLB history from 2011 to 2012.
While this move does not erase all that, it helps keep the most marketable player on the team for years to come.
In an interview with ESPN's Adam Rubin last week, pitcher Jon Niese said of Wright:
I know he wants to be what Chipper was in Atlanta. He wants to be -- he is -- the face of the franchise. And he wants to be a part of it throughout his whole career. You have to respect a guy like that.
The third baseman will now get his wish...he will be a Met for at least most of his career.
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