The Contract Offer: Wright or Wrong?

Can the Mets afford Wright AND the rest of the team?

I’ve been avoiding the subject of contract extensions for David Wright and R.A. Dickey because A) I don’t feel like speculating about if every single day, especially when I know next to nothing about what’s going on behind closed doors – like everyone else, and B) Everyone else has already chimed in on it.  But now, because an offer has been REPORTEDLY made, and I’m feeling narcissistic today, I will chime in.

According to various sources, the Mets made an offer to David Wright that consists of 7 years at about $20 million per.  My immediate reaction?  If they can afford Wright at that price while still keeping money in the coffers to fill other positions of need, then let’s do it.  If they’re breaking the bank for one player, and we have to have another year of Josh Thole behind the plate, an outfield of Lucas Duda/Kirk Nieuwenhuis/Mike Baxter, and Frank Francisco closing games, then don’t.

However, since I’m writing stream-of-consciousness…

I would actually take another year of those players.  But if signing Wright ties Sandy Alderson’s hands for 2014, that’s when you don’t make the offer.  Because 2013 was always going to be another 2012.

The Mets still owe $25.5 million to Johan Santana next year.  They have some percentage of Jason Bay‘s $18 million 2013 salary on the books.  Some of his money was deferred, but they will still owe the bulk of it next year.  After 2013, the Mets will have an extra $40 million or so to spend on players for 2014.

David Wright will make $16 million next year due to the option that has already been picked up.  If Wright agrees to the contract offer, he’ll get a $4 million raise, which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t so bad.  In addition, no one else on the current roster is due to make more than $5 million in 2014, according to Cots.

Unless they extend R.A. Dickey.  He would likely get 2-3 more years for about $10 million per, according to most beat writers.  So, tack that onto Wright’s 2014 salary, and the Mets should have enough money to spend on other players, especially if the Wilpons continue to pay down their debt (which is just an assumption on my part – you know how Fred and Jeff are.)

Based on all of that, logically, 2014 is the target for the Mets front office.  They’ll have a young starting rotation, maybe with R.A. Dickey, a perennial all-star third baseman, a young shortstop and first baseman who will be entering their prime years, and seemingly enough money to reinforce the outfield, bullpen, and catcher.

So, back to the contract.  Is Wright good enough to deserve this much money and that many years?  People forget he was tied for 4th with the Yankees’ Robinson Cano in FanGraphs WAR in the major leagues this year (7.8).  Only Mike Trout, Buster Posey, and Ryan Braun had more wins above replacement. In addition, he had the highest WAR among major league third basemen.  So yes, he’s more than just a pretty face.

So, can the Mets have their Wright and outfielders, too?  Yes.  But probably not in 2013.  They can make this work, but don’t expect any more big moves (apart from extending Dickey, if they can come to an agreement) for 2013.  Expect to see more offseason activity following the 2013 season, since the focus of the front office seems to be beyond next season.

12-13 Offseason

About the Author

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.

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