David Wright signed an 8 year, $138 million dollar contract extension during the Winter Meetings last year. It locked him up for the foreseeable future, and largely guaranteed that the fan favorite would be a Met for life. But what if that had not happened?
There was some angst among Met fans before the extension that the Wilpons, in their efforts to keep as much of their money as possible, would fail to extend Wright and chance him hitting the open market. Even at the time of his signing it was clear that he had taken at least something of a hometown discount, but only as we see the contracts doled out this offseason can we get a true feel for it. The ten year, $240 million given to Robinson Cano may have not come his way, but he certainly would have brought in a number close to it. He certainly would have dwarfed Jacoby Ellsbury's seven year, $153 million offering from the Yankees.
Anthony DiComo of MLB.com wrote about the topic in his blog:
I spent some time at the Winter Meetings informally surveying a handful of executives and agents, asking them what Wright could have received as a free agent. The answers did not dip below $170 million, rising as high as $200 million.
One person suggested tacking $5 million per year onto Wright’s existing deal, resulting in an eight-year, $178-million pact. Another said that Wright probably would have been able to push for a 10-year deal, which would have taken him through his age-39 season. Two suits budgeted $200 million on the dot — a number that only five players in history have earned in a single contract: Alex Rodriguez (twice), Cano, Albert Pujols, Joey Votto and Prince Fielder. On more than one occasion, Wright’s squeaky-clean franchise cornerstone reputation came up as a potential negotiating platform.
Imagine those numbers in the context of the Mets’ rebuilding efforts. Even if Wright fell short of that $200 million mark, his $170+ million value might have forced the Mets to reconsider their commitment. Market factors alone could have transformed franchise history.If nothing else, it should at least let us appreciate a little more greatly Wright's commitment to making it work in Queens with the Mets. He was sold on Alderson and the Wilpons' plan to success enough to take a significant hit financially. Let's hope they reward his confidence.