David Wright Rumors
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.
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.
The Mets’ proposal compares with the six-year, $100MM contracts signed by Ryan Zimmerman and Evan Longoria this year. However, those third basemen were multiple seasons away from free agency at the time the deals were signed, while Wright’s contract expires following the 2013 season.
The Mets continue to say their priority is to sign both Wright and R.A. Dickey to extensions, Rosenthal reports. However, the team hasn’t made much progress with either player. The club could explore trades for one or both players, but their trade value would be limited by the reality that they’re just one year away from free agency. Unless the Mets grant potential trade partners windows for discussing contract extensions, they might not get enough in return to justify a deal.
The Mets haven’t seriously explored trade possibilities involving Wright so far. ACES represents the 29-year-old, who will earn $16MM in 2013.