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David Wright Rumors
Yesterday Mets general manager Sandy Alderson acknowledged to reporters that the Mets are in on free agent center fielder Michael Bourn. “We’re getting to the point where we can be in the mix,’’ Alderson said. “If you look at the fundamental composition of our team, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of moves to change the whole perception of things.’’ The Mets would have to surrender the 11th overall pick in the upcoming amateur draft to complete a deal with Bourn, but would ask MLB for a rule modification in the event they're close to a deal. Here’s the latest on Bourn, a Scott Boras client who recently dined with the Mets…
- The Indians are among the teams that might have interest in Bourn if his asking price drops "A LOT," ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
- David Wright told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he spoke with Bourn and exchanged texts with him to persuade him to sign in New York. “I just wanted to let him know that he would be a great addition here and he’d obviously be welcomed here,’’ Wright said. He explained to Bourn that the Mets aren’t far off from contention with the young talent they have in place. Wright noted that he’s happy to help the organization recruit free agents if it makes a difference on the field.
- The Mariners and Rangers have also been linked to Bourn, the top free agent remaining.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson sat down with Kevin Burkhardt on SNY's Hot Stove show (video link) to discuss a number of topics, including…
- Alderson confirmed that the Mets are still looking for relief pitching despite signing LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison to minor league deals over the last three days. "We may even add a name or two [to the bullpen] between now and the beginning of Spring Training," Alderson said. "I'm encouraged about the depth and the options we have in the bullpen."
- This positivity about the relief corps doesn't extend to Frank Francisco, as Alderson admitted he's worried about the incumbent closer given Francisco's struggles and injury issues in 2012. "I don't know that we can have a lot of confidence in where we are [at closer]," Alderson said. "I hope Frankie does something over the next few weeks to dispel that discomfort."
- There could be competition for the closer's job during Spring Training, possibly involving a current reliever (Alderson mentioned Bobby Parnell) or a new acquisition. "We've taken a lot of time to look at other possibilities and ways that we can shore this up. We have added some pitching but more at the front end of the bullpen as opposed to the back end," Alderson said.
- "If there's anyone deserving of an eight-year contract in New York with the Mets, it is and has been David Wright," Alderson said. The GM admitted that he isn't comfortable giving out such long-term deals but said that Wright's performance, history with the team and his off-the-field contributions were all major considerations in Wright's extension.
- Terry Collins is entering the last year of his contract as Mets manager and Alderson didn't give any hints that an extension could be forthcoming. "I've talked to Terry and I think he's comfortable with his situation and I know that whatever happens this season, there will be a fair evaluation at the end," Alderson said. He is "very comfortable with Terry" and noted that the team's win-loss record over Collins' two years as skipper isn't a major factor, though Alderson is troubled by how the Mets have faltered in the second half under Collins.
- From yesterday, Alderson also took questions from Mets season-ticket holders.
On today’s edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast, Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts and I discussed the Indians-Reds-Diamondbacks trade, the Yankees’ recent signings and the latest rumors. Click here to listen in and continue reading for some notes from around MLB…
- The Mets will pay David Wright $3.1MM annually from 2021-2025 as part of the deferred payments from his new contract extension, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. The money is deferred without interest.
- The Red Sox will pay the Dodgers a total of $11.7MM over the next three years as the cash component of their August blockbuster trade according to the AP (via ESPN). Boston will make identical payments of $3.9MM in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
- Utility man Mark DeRosa told ESPN's Jim Bowden that his first choice is to re-sign with the Nationals (Twitter link). The 37-year-old free agent has hit .220/.309/.269 in 302 plate appearances while battling injuries over the last three seasons.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports argues that the Yankees' strategy of slightly overpaying for free agents on one-year deals hasn't resulted in an improved team this offseason. Morosi wonders why GM Brian Cashman hasn't obtained a power bat for the outfield such as Justin Upton, Jason Kubel or Michael Morse.
- We're seeing more teams prey on the desperation of others in trades now that Wild Card berths seem so attainable, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes.
- A rival executive expects the Rangers could obtain Upton from Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers if they are willing to part with Elvis Andrus, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). “I don't think KT will do it for less," the person said. Towers has said it’s “highly unlikely" that he moves Upton.
- Shaun Marcum said on MLB Network Radio that he's open to re-signing with the Brewers, Jim Bowden reports (on Twitter). The Twins, Royals, Padres and Cubs have been linked to the right-hander in the past month or so.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Details about some recent multiyear deals from around MLB…
- Under the terms of his new deal with the Pirates, Jason Grilli will earn a $500K signing bonus, $2.25MM in 2013 and $4MM in 2014, Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (on Twitter). In total, the Gary Sheffield client obtains $6.75MM over two years.
- Anthony DiComo of MLB.com has the year-by-year breakdown of David Wright's eight-year, $138MM contract extension with the Mets. Wright will earn $11MM in 2013 and his salary increases to $20MM in 2014. The deal also includes incentives, which DiComo details.
The Mets formally announced David Wright's new extension in Nashville today, with Wright and Jeff Wilpon fielding questions from reporters in the process. Here are a few highlights from Wright, Wilpon, and GM Sandy Alderson:
- Alderson suggests that the Mets probably won't take anyone in the Rule 5 draft, and may leave Nashville having only finalized the Wright deal, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- As part of Wright's extension, his 2013 salary will be reduced to $8MM, and he'll defer $15MM until after 2020, according to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal (via Twitter).
- Wright's deal includes a full no-trade clause, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Wright would have 10-and-5 rights soon anyway, but is now protected for the entire contract.
- The number of years in his new contract was a priority for Wright, while the money part came fairly easy, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (Twitter link).
- Wright asked as many "tough questions" as he could about the Mets' finances during the negotiating process, tweets Jack Curry of YES Network.
- Wilpon insists payroll will increase next year, and indicated there would be added flexibility when contracts come off the books in 2014, tweets ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- Wright was non-committal when discussing R.A. Dickey, saying that he hopes things work out for the best for the right-hander whatever happens (Twitter link via David Lennon of Newsday). Here's the latest on Dickey.
The Mets and David Wright have officially finalized the largest contract in franchise history. The Mets have extended Wright for seven years and $122MM in new money, which can be considered an eight-year, $138MM deal if the value of Wright's previously-exercised 2013 club option is included. In that sense, Wright passes Johan Santana's $137.5MM deal from February 2008. Wright is represented by ACES.
Wright, 30 in December, frequently stated his desire to remain with the Mets for his entire career. The Mets drafted him 38th overall in 2001, as a supplemental pick for the loss of free agent Mike Hampton. Wright has a .301/.381/.506 career line with 204 home runs in 5,453 plate appearances, totaling 47 wins above replacement. With six All-Star Game appearances and six seasons worthy of at least one MVP vote, Wright is the face of the franchise. He already holds franchise records in most offensive categories. This is Wright's second extension with the Mets, as he signed a six-year, $55MM contract in August 2006.
Longtime shortstop Jose Reyes left the Mets as a free agent after last season, increasing pressure from the fans for Mets ownership and GM Sandy Alderson to lock up Wright. Remaining on the agenda: a new contract with 38-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who won the 2012 NL Cy Young award and will not negotiate during his contract season. Currently, Wright and starting pitcher Jonathon Niese are the only Mets under contract beyond 2013.
Here's a look at the some of the news out of the AL and NL East:
- David Wright will undergo a physical tomorrow that will complete his $138MM contract extension with the Mets, a Major League source tells ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin.
- R.A. Dickey told reporters, including Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, he wants to remain a Met, "That’s 100 percent my hope. That being said, you never want to be taken advantage of."
- GM Dan Duquette says the Orioles are "probably not" going to be able to sign Josh Hamilton, writes CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Duquette adds he has some money to spend, but not enough for Hamilton.
- Heyman tweeted Ichiro Suzuki is reaching out to other teams, possibly including the Phillies, although there is a strong belief he wants to return to the Yankees.
- The Yankees have a starting catcher and right fielder atop their shopping list, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.
- Non-tendered pitchers Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Karstens, and John Lannan could interest the Orioles, writes the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina.
- The question is not if but when will the Rays make a trade to fill their holes at first base, DH, and the outfield, opines Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
- Earlier today, we learned the Yankees and Red Sox both have interest in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew.
- A Mets insider told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that the team will likely spend on one outfielder. It’s even too early to rule out a return for Angel Pagan, not that a reunion seems likely. Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross are among the right-handed hitting free agent outfielders who could draw interest from the Mets, Rubin writes.
- The Mets have also made a list of backup catchers they might target, according to Rubin. Nationals catcher Jesus Flores, a non-tender candidate with a projected salary of $1.2MM, is among the catchers on the team’s list.
- The Mets will likely address their needs via free agency, team insiders told Rubin.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post heard that it was “vital” that Wright’s contract with the Mets surpass Johan Santana’s $137.5MM contract in terms of total value (Twitter link). Wright's eight-year deal will pay him $138MM in total.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs applauds the Mets for not giving up on the team in the short term.
Zack Greinke turned down a potential trade to the Nationals two years ago when he was a member of the Royals, but now that the Nats are the defending NL East champs and have added Denard Span as their latest upgrade, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal thinks that Greinke (or any free agent) would see Washington as a prime destination. The Nationals have been mentioned as one of Greinke's top suitors this winter, along with the Dodgers, Angels and Rangers, so there's a possibility the right-hander could yet end up in D.C. two years later.
Here are some items from around the division…
- David Wright may wait under after the Winter Meetings to decide on the Mets' seven-year, $124MM extension offer, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. A Mets source speculates that Wright and his representatives may wait due to their unhappiness that negotiations were made public. Wright and agent Seth Levinson told MLBTR earlier this week that rumors about the contract talks were inaccurate.
- The Phillies' best offer to B.J. Upton was a five-year, $55MM contract, tweets MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Upton agreed to a five-year, $75.25MM pact with the Braves yesterday.
- The Braves and Marlins are two of a half-dozen teams interested in free agent utilityman Ryan Raburn, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark (Twitter link). The Rays and Rangers are two of the other known teams.
- The Nationals still have a minor league option remaining on left-hander John Lannan, reports Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. Washington could keep Lannan at Triple-A as rotation insurance again, though MLBTR's Tim Dierkes thinks Lannan will be non-tendered rather than earn a projected $5MM in his third year of arbitration eligibility.
- Shane Victorino "might actually represent the best value on the market," writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, though Murphy doesn't think the Phillies will look for a reunion with their former outfielder. The Phils haven't been linked to Victorino this offseason, though at least seven teams are known to be interested in the Hawaiian.
- The Braves signed Upton to a franchise record five-year, $75.25MM contract despite some warning signs that other organizations had identified, Olney writes. Upton has a declining on-base percentage and a bat that can be inconsistent. However, one of Olney's sources praised the deal. "He is the most talented player in the free agent market and somebody I think will age well," the person said.
- The conversations about a 2013 contract between the Yankees and Andy Pettitte started at the GM Meetings earlier this month, agent Jim Murray told Olney. “We worked on it between then and now, talking fairly frequently," Murray said. Pettitte signed a one-year, $12MM contract yesterday.
- Agents and executives agree that David Wright will take the Mets’ extension offer, Olney reports. It would be difficult to decline such a proposal, since there’s no guarantee he’d have similar long-term offers a year from now. MLBTR rounded up the latest on Wright earlier today. It appears the Mets have offered him $124MM for seven seasons starting in 2014.