David Wright Rumors
It's been an unusually active day for agent-related news. Here's the latest from around the league:
- Shane Victorino, who left ACES earlier today, informed his agents of his impending departure long before fellow client Melky Cabrera was suspended for PED use, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford (Twitter link).
- ACES client David Wright won't be following Victorino out the door, tweets ESPN's Adam Rubin.
- Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez left the Boras Corporation months ago and will now be represented by Jim McNamara of the McNamara Baseball Group, the agency informed MLBTR via email. Sanchez will hit free agency this offseason, though his struggles in 2012 will present McNamara with a challenge. McNamara, a former MLB player, worked with the Boras Corporation for approximately 15 years before leaving to open his own agency this past spring.
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that several people around baseball are wondering if Victorino's departure from ACES will be the first of many. The agency is under investigation by MLB following Cabrera's PED suspension and the ensuing web site coverup scandal.
Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey expects that there will be a difference between his upcoming extension talks with the Mets and the contract discussions that took place before the 2011 season, when he signed for two-years and $7.5MM. Dickey, now in the midst of a Cy Young caliber season at age 37, says he has “more leverage” this time, according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
“This mentality is different,” Dickey said. “Because I’ve done that now. I have more freedom to really weigh things.”
The Mets will exercise Dickey’s $5MM option for 2013 once the current season ends, but general manager Sandy Alderson has publicly repeated his intention to lock the knuckleballer up beyond next year. The Mets had some negotiations with Dickey during the 2012 season with the intention of extending him for at least one additional season.
Dickey suggested he and David Wright are a “package deal” to an extent, McCullough reports. The Mets are expected to exercise Wright’s 2013 option once the regular season ends then pursue an extension. If the Mets don’t work to extend the third baseman beyond 2013, Dickey will take note.
“I think it would be a message to everybody that they’re content to spend the next five or six years rebuilding this organization,” he said.
Opposing executives believe Dickey can continue succeeding for years, according to McCullough. One executive suggested Dickey would have a chance at a four-year contract if he hits free agency after the 2013 season.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson offered some insight into the team’s offseason plans in an interview with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling of SNY on last night’s Mets broadcast (transcript via Andrew Keh of the New York Times). Here are the details...
- Alderson suggested rival teams won't "put a lot of stock in" the report that the Mets are frustrated with Ike Davis’ attitude and lifestyle. The Mets dealt with the matter internally and are not looking to trade Davis, according to Alderson. “For us to trade a guy that’s hit 30 home runs, we better know where the next 30 are coming from,” he said.
- Alderson repeated that the Mets are interested in extending David Wright and R.A. Dickey this offseason. “Our intent is to work hard to try to keep them both,” he said. The Mets are expected to exercise 2013 options for both players then discuss long-term contracts.
- The Mets aren’t likely to spend big on outfielders this offseason, Andy Martino reported earlier today.
A number of notable NL East players celebrate birthdays today, such as the Nationals' Steve Lombardozzi (24 years old), Ian Desmond (27), and the Mets' Jason Bay (34). Here's the latest from around the division...
- The Marlins are discussing whether to not to fire manager Ozzie Guillen, a source tells MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Former Marlin Mike Lowell (who has never managed or coached at any level) has been discussed as a replacement. Other candidates could include Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and Blue Jays Class-A manager Tim Redmond.
- The Marlins will likely have a payroll in the $80MM range in 2013, opines Frisaro as part of a reader mailbag. Miami carried a $101.6MM payroll into the 2012 season and have over $67MM in salary committed for next year. Frisaro thinks the Marlins will stay away from high-priced free agents like Michael Bourn and instead target "veterans who don't come at a great cost," such as Kevin Youkilis.
- Former Nationals president Stan Kasten is pleased at his ex-team's success, he tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson. "The turning point was Day 1, when [the Lerner family] was committed to a program of scouting and player development -- long-term building, try to build internally, get home-grown players," said Kasten, who's now the Dodgers' team president. "As we see, the team that we see out there on the field is largely homegrown with some very key important strategic pieces added on top of it....They stuck to their plan. You are seeing the results now. It appears they are going to enjoy those results in the years to come."
- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel tells reporters (including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki) that he hopes the club acquires at least one "first-class good" relief pitcher this winter. Zolecki speculates that this new reliever could push Antonio Bastardo out of the bullpen, as Bastardo has struggled this season.
- David Wright's slump shouldn't stop the Mets from signing their star to an extension, opines Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com, "despite [Wright] having just three good months over the last two years." Cerrone thinks the Mets could sign Wright to a deal in the six-year/$100MM range this offseason or possibly just pick up Wright's $16MM team option for 2013 if they're still concerned about his long-term viability.
- Jeurys Familia will pitch in high-leverage situations down the stretch, Mets manager Terry Collins told media, including Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. The Mets plan to use Familia as a late-inning reliever and backup closer behind Frank Francisco next season. You can follow all of the late-inning situations on MLBTR's sister Twitter feed, @CloserNews.
The Phillies, winners of six in a row, are just four games out of the Wild Card race and back at the .500 mark with a 71-71 record. While a sixth consecutive division title remains out of reach, the Phillies have a remote chance at returning to the postseason. Here are the latest notes from the NL East...
- Despite baseball's investigation into accusations that agents Seth and Sam Levinson helped procure performance-enhancing drugs for players, David Wright doesn't plan on changing agents, according to the New York Daily News. "I have known these guys since I was 18," Wright said. "The only thing I have to go off of is the way they have represented me the last 12 years (and) the integrity that I have seen firsthand that they have for the game." The Mets hold a $16MM club option on Wright's deal for 2013 but the club is expected to pursue a contract extension in the near future.
- Third base is a long-term need for the Phillies and, as Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, there's also uncertainty at the position in the short-term. Kevin Frandsen has a stress fracture in his left fibula, Placido Polanco is out for the season, Michael Martinez doesn't add much offense and Chase Utley has limited experience at third.
- The Marlins and Phillies are now heading in different directions, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. While Miami's early-season struggles continued, the Phillies are now "playing clean games" in the view of manager Charlie Manuel.
- Top Marlins pitching prospect Jose Fernandez has a chance to join Miami's rotation in 2013, Joe Capozzi Palm Beach Post writes. Fernandez, a first round pick in 2011, figures to start next year in Double-A, according to Capozzi.
- The deal that sent Gio Gonzalez to Washington for Tommy Milone and Derek Norris has proven to be a win-win trade for the Nationals and Athletics, Matthew Leach of MLB.com writes. Gonzalez is a Cy Young candidate with the Nationals and Milone and Norris are contributing to the success of the A's.
The 65-75 Mets are heading for a fourth consecutive losing season, but their long-term outlook could improve considerably with a successful offseason. GM Sandy Alderson figures to look for answers in the outfield and ways of keeping David Wright and R.A. Dickey in Queens beyond 2013. Here's the latest on the team from its newest beat writer, Newsday’s Marc Carig (links go to Twitter)...
- Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon declined to speculate about contract talks with Wright or the team’s 2013 payroll. New York’s payroll is expected to stay in the $90MM range for 2013, but Wilpon said it’s too early to get into detail. "I think it would be premature to talk about it until we have a full conversation," he said.
- Wright said there’s “nothing new” to report regarding extension talks, according to Carig. The third baseman’s current contract includes a $16MM option for 2013 with a $1MM buyout. He recently told Jon Heyman he’s “extremely optimistic” about signing a long-term deal with the Mets.
David Wright said he’s “extremely optimistic” about the chances of signing a long-term contract with the Mets, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Wright said he doesn’t have a single complaint about the organization, which drafted him 11 years ago. He added that he’s a loyal person who’d like to follow the path of one of his childhood heroes.
“My favorite player was Cal Ripken,'' Wright told Heyman. “The biggest reason for that was I like that he stayed.''
Wright’s current contract includes a $16MM option for 2013 with a $1MM buyout. At the very least the Mets will exercise the option, but GM Sandy Alderson has said the team has interest in keeping Wright in place long-term. The 29-year-old ACES client told the Mets he wasn’t interested in discussing an extension during the 2012 regular season and the same guidelines would apply in 2013, which means the Mets’ best chance at agreeing to an extension will be this offseason.
Rival executives suggest Wright is worth $20MM per season, according to Heyman. However, Mets ownership seems undeterred by Wright’s leverage and doesn’t have anything negative to say about him, Heyman reports ($160MM over eight years could work for both sides in Heyman’s view). Wright declined to discuss a potential extension in detail, saying only “you'd like it to take you to the end of your career.''
It has been a tough year for the Mets and it doesn't seem like the club is in position to back up a Brink's truck to reload in 2013. Recently, it was reported that General Manager Sandy Alderson will basically working with the same payroll next year with the lid being in the neighborhood of $90MM. Here's more out of Queens and other items from the National League East..
- Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said that he expects David Wright to be with the team for the future at a Q&A session for season ticket holders, tweets Matt Ehalt of ESPNNewYork.com. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter) notes that it takes two to tango, however, and the question isn't whether the Mets want Wright back.
- During that same gathering, Alderson also said he expects R.A. Dickey to be with the Mets "long-term," writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Dickey and Wright have options for 2013 that will be exercised by the club, but Alderson will not wait until the pair hit free agency to negotiate. "It's not our intention to simply rely on those options and go into next season and deal with their free agency after 2013," the GM explained.
- The Red Sox-Dodgers blockbuster underscores the tough situation that the Mets are currently facing, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman wonders why the Mets never looked at the Dodgers' need at third base and pitch them on Wright plus a bad contract or two in exchange for payroll relief and prospects.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Brian McCann is playing his way out of a big contract as he struggles to fight through a pair of injuries in his right shoulder. The Braves hold a $12MM option on McCann for next season, making this winter the ideal time to discuss a new deal.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
After a couple of seasons marred by injuries and overall slip in production, Mets third baseman David Wright has certainly picked the right time to recapture the form that made him an elite player throughout the first few years of his career. With a potential foray into free agency looming after 2013, the right-handed hitter has been worth 5.8 WAR so far in 2012 according to fangraphs, positioning him nicely for extension talks that both he and the Mets have suggested they'd like to explore. Here's the latest on Wright and the Mets, from Mike Puma of the New York Post ...
Wright is "optimistic" that he and the Mets can reach agreement on a long-term extension, though he cautioned that winning is more important to him than money alone: “The money issue for me, I don’t think that will be the deciding factor,” Wright said. He's pleased with the organization's recent direction but characterized it as a "baby step" and said there's still a way to go before the team has fully turned the corner to becoming perennial playoff contenders.
Further, as has been the case this season, Wright will not engage in talks during the 2013 campaign, so it appears the window for the sides to reach an extension would be during this upcoming offseason. Wright promises he will be listening if and when the Mets come to discuss a new deal, though: “Coming up through the system, I have a tremendous amount of loyalty to this organization,” Wright said. “I can’t tell you what the future holds, but I’m hoping — optimistic — that something will get done.”
The Mets, of course, hold a $16MM option on Wright for 2013, which they are almost certain to exercise. It has been speculated that Wright's next contract will very likely break the nine-figure barrier.
New York also holds a 2013 option on 38-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, this one for a more modest $5MM. And, like Wright, Dickey wants to remain a Met but would prefer not to enter into in-season extension talks in 2013, according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. Again, that would leave only the upcoming offseason for the sides to hammer out a possible extension.
People with knowledge of the situation said that the Mets and Dickey did briefly discuss a short-term extension earlier this season -- a deal that would have at least kept the pitcher in New York through 2014 -- although the team decided to wait and see how the season would play out. Dickey has since pitched like a legitimate Cy Young Award candidate, although the extension talks earlier this season never included salary talks on par with a pitcher of that caliber.
Despite Dickey's age, a rival NL executive told McCullough that the right-hander should be able to command at least a three-year contract after 2013:
“With his kind of knuckleball, you’ve got to believe [he can last] three or four more years, at least. He’s got such great makeup. He’s going to keep himself in great condition. He’s going to keep that edge for quite a while.”
David Wright is more than a year away from hitting free agency, but the Mets hope to sign him to an extension sooner, rather than later, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Mets don’t want to experience the tension that would occur if Wright enters the 2013 without a long-term deal, and the team’s officials sound confident they’ll find common ground with the ACES client this offseason.
Wright earns $15MM this season and his contract includes a $16MM club option for 2013 ($1MM buyout) that will definitely be exercised. The 29-year-old is playing at an MVP level this year, which means the Mets probably can’t expect to lock him up for a deal similar to Ryan Zimmerman’s six-year, $100MM contract.
Cano's contract status is similar to Wright's. The second baseman earns $14MM this year and his contract includes a $15MM club option ($2MM buyout for 2013). Like Wright, Cano is playing at an MVP level and his contract option is sure to be picked up. The Yankees have a club policy of waiting for players to hit free agency before negotiating contracts, but Cano says he’d listen if the Yankees have a proposal.
“I am always open to hearing anything,” he said, according to Sherman. “If it works for both sides, that is great. But I have to hear an offer.”
The Yankees aim to avoid the luxury tax by 2014, so GM Brian Cashman might have to get creative to retain Cano and Curtis Granderson (Granderson is also under team control through 2013). Cano, 29, felt underpaid on the contract he signed with his previous representatives and wants to make a score on his next contract, Sherman reports.
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Cano, said it costs elite prices to buy elite players out of free agent years. Boras pointed out that the Yankees generate far more revenue than most teams and said clubs sometimes have to commit to ten-year deals for the privilege of locking up an elite player for his prime years.