Mets officially ink Wright through end of decade
Third baseman signs eight-year, $138 million contract to stay in New York
By Anthony DiComo / 12/04/12 6:32 PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The contract is now signed and official. David Wright is well on his way to becoming a Met for life.
Wright passed his physical exam, the team announced Tuesday, and he was scheduled to land in Nashville later in the night. The Mets will hold a news conference at the Opryland Hotel to publicize Wright's new eight-year, $138 million contract, beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
"I'd like to thank Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Jeff Wilpon for their commitment to me since I was drafted," Wright said in a statement. "I've grown up in this organization and made life-long friendships with teammates, uniform personnel and front office staff. I'm grateful for the opportunity to finish what I've started and help bring the Mets and our fans a World Series title."
Jeff Wilpon, the chief operating officer, was scheduled to accompany Wright to the Winter Meetings and attend the announcement. His presence could potentially expedite a resolution with starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, who is negotiating a contract extension while the Mets simultaneously explore trade possibilities.
But the main purpose for Wilpon's visit was to celebrate the richest deal in franchise history.
"We're thrilled for the organization and our fans that David will be a Met for many years to come," Wilpon said in a statement. "As great a player as David's been with us on the field -- one of the greatest and most popular Mets ever -- he's been equally outstanding in the community."
Wright and the Mets agreed to terms early Friday morning on the eight-year deal, which blends his $16 million option for the 2013 season on top of a seven-year, $122 million extension. Running through 2020, the contract will take Wright through his age-37 season.
"We said signing David to a contract that would keep him in a Mets uniform was our top offseason priority," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "Today is a historic day for the franchise and an important step in securing a winning future for this team and our fans."
Wright, 29, has played his entire nine-year career in New York after the Mets drafted him 38th overall in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. He hit .306 with 21 home runs and 93 RBIs last season, and is the franchise leader in hits, doubles, RBIs, runs scored and walks. By the end of his new deal, Wright should hold the franchise records for home runs and games played.
He could also become the most prominent player to spend his entire career with the Mets. All of the brightest stars in franchise history, including Tom Seaver, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Mike Piazza and Jose Reyes, spent only portions of their careers in Flushing.
Wright is on track to stay for at least 17 seasons.
"I think it's a great statement that David wanted to stay with the organization that drafted him," manager Terry Collins said. "David is the leader of this team in the clubhouse, on the field and in the community."