David Wright. The ball is in your court.
On the heels of Tampa Bay and third baseman Evan Longoria agreeing to a very team-friendly extension earlier in the week, comes word that the New York Mets have offered their own franchise player an extension that would make him the highest paid third baseman not named Alex Rodriguez in the history of the game.
It must have been an interesting day in the office of Wright's agents on Monday when word came down that the Rays and Longoria had finalized their extension.
It had been reported that talks weren't going well between the Mets and Wright, who apparently was insulted by the team's initial offer of six years and $100 million. Of course, though, that turned out to be the same deal signed by Longoria, who nobody will argue is a far better player than Wright.
But, then word started to leak out on Tuesday that the Mets had upped their offer to seven years and around $125 million, meaning he would be paid over $140 million over eight years with the $16 million he would make this year under his current deal.
And by the way don't think that $140 million is just a random number. It's more than the $137.5 million that Johan Santana was paid and would make Wright the highest paid player in team history.
There is little doubt that it was the Mets who are leaking the latest info, thus putting all the pressure on Wright to accept. The Mets want their fan base to know that they are making more than a pedestrian attempt to keeping their golden boy in Flushing for the rest of his career.
But, there is a catch. At first glance, the reported deal is something Wright should jump at. Well, apparently a lot of the money in the contract would be deferred, a little nugget left out by Mets moles who distributed their information.
Deferred money shouldn't be that big of a deal. He's going to get all of his money. Ask Bobby Bonilla how he's doing these days.
Perhaps Wright's hesitancy is that he just doesn't like the direction the team is headed. And that is a valid concern, considering there are gaping holes in the outfield, a shaky at best bullpen and a serious power void in the lineup, mixed in with a payroll that doesn't figure to go north of $100 million anytime soon.
It's never a good sign, though, when numbers are being leaked to the press and there is no contract in place. See NHL CBA negotiations.
Eventually, though, the Mets will likely get Wright to put pen to paper. If the Mets are willing to pay that kind of money, it's hard to think Wright would not stay. As R.A. Dickey said earlier this offseason, imagine the Atlanta Braves without Chipper Jones.
Speaking of Dickey, once the Mets get the Wright situation finalized they can turn their attention to the reigning Cy Young Award winner, who recently had his $5 million option for next season exercised, but will be a free agent at the end of the 2013 campaign.
It'll be interesting to see what the Mets do with Dickey here. My guess is they will try to deal him next week at the Winter Meetings,
As good as Dickey was last year, he is a 38-year-old knuckleball pitcher, who will never have a higher trade value than he has right now. The Mets are not going to win next year. If they can something of value for Dickey now they should do it.
Heck even if talks with Wright fall apart they should probably move Dickey and get some pieces.
But first things first and that means getting Wright done.