The David Wright contract extension appears to finally be done! After an endless stream of news items surrounding the New York Mets and their longtime third baseman, Wright has agreed to a seven-year, $122 million extension that will begin after his option year in 2013 concludes. For a while there it was rumored that Wright would want north of what Johan Santana got to move to New York, but the player has said all along he was committed to remaining a Met. There will surely be more specifics to come, but the baseline of the deal seems evident at this point.
What should we make of this extension? Well, Wright is already about to turn 30 years old, so this deal will keep him around until he’s 38. Compared to the lengthy and ludicrous new contracts recently signed by Albert Pujols and Joey Votto, those seven extra years don’t seem like as many as they might have in a different era. Wright is an excellent player who has proven himself among the best in baseball for eight full seasons now, and he’s a good bet to remain at this level for half of the deal or more.
After a rough 2011 that saw him hit a paltry .254/.345/.427, Wright came roaring back with his power intact to post a .376 wOBA and handle third base as proficiently as anyone could ever hope for in 2012. The end result was a 7.8 WAR season per FanGraphs, so it appears Wright is ready to continue the path he was on before his gross misstep at age 28. All off-years and weird expectations aside, there is no reason to doubt Wright’s status as a top tier player. He’s been worth north of 6.0 WAR in four of his eight seasons as a regular, and 2011 was the only season that saw him slip below the 3.5 WAR mark (in just 447 PA, mind you). He’s a patient hitter with gap power who can belt his share of homers, an excellent defender, and a solid baserunner. In short, he’s a star player who doesn’t always command the respect he should.
This extension seems to be just fine for both parties involved. Wright will get an average annual salary that exceeds $17 million in those seven additional years and the Mets will get to retain a great player whose entire Major League career has been spent in the same city. Given that Wright is in shape, in his prime, and has the tools of a player not likely to succumb to quick deflation, the risk on New York’s part is a lot less than many deals this long carry. I like this extension, and I think it’s a perfectly logical conclusion to a saga that, at times, looked like it might spiral elsewhere.