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David Wright Rumors
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.
The Mets have made David Wright a nine-figure offer that would keep him in New York long term. Some of the details of the offer remained unclear earlier this week, prompting Wright to explain to MLBTR that he was frustrated by some published inaccuracies. However, he repeated his interest in staying with the organization long-term. "I have said from Day 1 that I want to play my entire career with the New York Mets. I remain hopeful that goal can be achieved,” Wright said. Here’s the latest on his contract talks with the Mets…
- The Mets believe they’ve made Wright their best offer, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. The team offered Wright a seven-year extension that would begin after the 2013 season, Martino reports. The deal would include $124MM in new money and be worth $140MM including Wright’s 2013 salary of $16MM. Now the Mets are awaiting Wright’s response. Around baseball there’s an expectation that the sides will reach an agreement, Martino writes. The Mets’ offer is backloaded with a structure similar to the one Jose Reyes and the Marlins agreed to last winter, according to the Daily News.
The Twins have had conversations with Francisco Liriano's representatives, a source with knowledge of the talks tells LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. The two sides are expected to meet next week during the winter meetings but General Manager Terry Ryan is keeping mum on potential targets for the club. Here's more Tuesday night linkage..
- The Rangers did not meet with Mike Napoli today, despite previous reports to the contrary, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. However, the club is set to meet with the catcher tomorrow. Earlier today it was reported that Napoli appears to be the Red Sox's top free agent target.
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (Twitter links) reached out to David Wright after his comments earlier tonight to MLBTradeRumors. The third baseman indicated that he was displeased with the public nature of his contract negotiations. "I wish I could elaborate but it was important to me from the very beginning that these negotiations remain confidential and private. I plan on sticking to that. Sorry I can't comment any further," said Wright.
- The Royals have discussed Wil Myers in trades for Rays right-hander James Shields and Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that the two hurlers aren't exactly equal. The two are owed similar money through 2014 ($24.625MM for Lester and $21MM for Shields) but Shields has been much stronger in recent years.
Mets third baseman David Wright offered commentary on the slew of reports from earlier today regarding his rumored contract negotiations, telling MLBTR, "I have said from Day 1 that I want to play my entire career with the New York Mets. I remain hopeful that goal can be achieved. However, I am disappointed by the reports that I have read today which are inaccurate," said Wright.
Nothing is imminent, agent Seth Levinson explained to MLBTR: “Discussions with the Mets are ongoing. We don’t anticipate a deal any time soon. However, things can always change. I will not characterize the negotiations or comment on the accuracy or inaccuracy of what is being reported," Levinson said.
Wright finished out the 2012 season with a .306/.391/.492 batting line and 21 home runs in 670 plate appearances.
3:12pm: The Mets offered Wright $135-145MM over eight years, Rosenthal clarifies (Twitter links). That amount includes his $16MM salary for 2013. In other words, the Mets are offering $119-129MM in new money over a seven-year period, Rosenthal reports. It's important for Wright to surpass the $137.5MM obtained by Johan Santana, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
2:45pm: The seven-year offer is worth $135-140MM, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
2:25pm: The Mets are offering a seven-year deal worth between $125MM and $150MM, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter).
12:13pm: The Mets have made Wright multiple offers, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. One of the offers would add at least seven years to his existing contract with the Mets. "There are offers going back and forth," one person told Rubin. There's a chance the sides will complete a deal before the Winter Meetings. However, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears from a source who says it's "improbable" the sides will complete a deal this week (Twitter link).
10:19am: The Mets have made Wright a seven-year offer worth well in excess of $100MM, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (on Twitter).
8:24am: The Mets offered David Wright a six-year, $100MM contract extension yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Wright prefers a deal of at least seven years, and he is expected to decline New York’s offer, according to Rosenthal.
After a relatively quiet Thanksgiving week, it’s time for MLB teams to resume their offseasons. The Rays completed a historic deal today, signing Evan Longoria to an extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through at least 2022. Here are some more news items as teams gear up for next week’s Winter Meetings…
- The Giants each obtained $377K for winning the World Series and the Tigers obtained $284K each for winning the AL pennant, according to the Sports Network (via the Miami Herald). Check out the article for the complete details on how the $65MM players' pool was divided between the ten playoff teams.
- Speaking of the Giants, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hasn’t heard anything to suggest the Giants are in on Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton (Sulia link).
- The Cardinals continue looking for a left-handed reliever, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. GM John Mozeliak said he believes in Marc Rzepczynski but intends to find another lefty reliever. "When he was a one-man band out there he didn’t pitch as well," the GM said. "That’s why we need to find someone.” Mozeliak repeated that he's open to signing a reliever to a multiyear deal.
- The Mets haven’t yet seriously explored trade options involving David Wright, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reports (on Twitter). The club could explore potential trades eventually, but for now they remain hopeful of signing the third baseman to an extension.
- Teams are concerned about Dan Haren’s hip, not his back, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). Haren’s bad hip won’t prevent teams from showing interest, according to Olney.
- Jason Grilli and Stephen Drew are among the undervalued free agents remaining on the open market, Jim Bowden writes at ESPN.com.
- "Everyone [I] talk to seems confident [Andy Pettitte] will return" to pitch in 2013, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Pettitte will surely want a significant raise from his $2.5MM salary in 2012, Sherman warns.
- Also from Sherman, he believes the Yankees will make "bold" one-year contracts akin to their deal with Kuroda, as the team is comfortable signing veterans to short-term deals. The Yankees will also look for less-expensive "Freddy Garcia type" pitchers later in the winter to add depth, though Sherman doesn't mean Garcia specifically. Sherman suggests Dallas Braden as a possible candidate to fit this mold (both links are to Twitter).
- David Wright's chances of signing an extension with the Mets are no better than 50-50, an industry source tells Mike Puma of the New York Post. Wright and his representatives are dissatisfied with the length and guaranteed value of the Mets' offer, as Wright is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of seven years and $125MM. It has been previously reported that the Mets were going to offer Wright a deal worth at least $100MM and that the two sides had exchanged offers.
- Also from Puma, a Mets official is "not sure" if R.A. Dickey wouldn't be traded even if he did sign an extension. Some in the industry believe Dickey could look for some type of no-trade clause in any new contract with the team.
- Mets COO Jeff Wilpon told reporters (including MLB.com's Anthony DiComo) that he is "more optimistic" than he was two months ago about completing extensions for Wright and Dickey. Wilpon said that trading either player would be the Mets' third option, behind signing them long-term and beginning the season with both men still on the roster. "They're both under contract. This is not a free-agent situation. This is not an arbitration situation. They're both under contract. We have all the flexibility in the world with that," Wilpon said.
The Mets continue negotiating a potential contract extension with R.A. Dickey, but there's also a chance the team will trade him. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young winner, has considerable trade value even if there are questions about how long he can continue pitching at an elite level. Here are today’s Mets-related links…
- The Mets would want a “monster package” if they trade Dickey, an MLB executive tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The Mets are letting other teams come to them with offers and probably would not trade Dickey unless they get a substantial return for him. In other words, don’t expect a trade unless someone offers the Mets a few highly regarded prospects or MLB players. However, two executives told Martino that they doubt teams will offer a “monster package” for the 38-year-old.
- Mets executives Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi are fielding most trade inquiries related to Dickey and John Ricco has been leading contract talks with the knuckleballer and his agent.
- The Mets must invest significantly in their team, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. That doesn't mean they have to extend Dickey and David Wright at any cost, but doubts about ownership's commitment will linger until the club starts spending again.
The easiest decision of the Mets' offseason came on October 30 when the team picked up their options on David Wright (worth $16MM) and R.A. Dickey ($5MM) for the 2013 season. The much trickier move has been in extending both players beyond next season, as the Mets have yet to lock up their longtime third baseman and the 2012 NL Cy Young winner.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman recently observed that while Wright and the Mets weren't making much progress, "there's always been a feeling something will get done," as the Mets seem committed to keeping Wright as the face of their franchise for the rest of his career. Last month we heard the team was willing to offer Wright a deal worth around $100MM, so it would seem that length, not money, is the issue. Wright turns 30 in December and you would think the team is looking for a six- or seven-year commitment, whereas Wright and his representatives at ACES would want at least an eight-year deal akin to the kind that Wright could find on the open market.
As for Dickey, his situation is much more complicated, befitting his unique status as a late-blooming Cy Young winner. Dickey has broken out as a star during his three years in New York, though at age 38, the Mets have concerns about how long Dickey will be able to continue his knuckleballing magic. The Mets have at least floated Dickey's name in trade talks to see what he could bring back in a deal, as Dickey's $5MM salary makes him a very attractive target for teams looking for immediate pitching help.
With both players under contract for 2013, the Mets have lots of time to negotiate extensions, so it's too early to say that Wright or Dickey are in imminent danger of being traded. Dealing Dickey is understandable from a short-term perspective, though moving Wright would be a much bigger move and essentially a signal that the Mets don't plan to contend until at least 2015. Do you think Wright and/or Dickey will still be at Citi Field come 2014, or is their time with the Mets coming to a close?