You can rest easy, Mets fans. David Wright won't be going anywhere for a long, long time with the news that the franchise third baseman has agreed to a seven-year contract extension that will pay him $122 million.
That deal makes Wright the richest player in team history (if you include the $16 million he was already set to earn this season which really makes it an eight-year, $138 million pact) and, more importantly, brings to an end a roller coaster few days of negotiations that started with the Mets low-balling Wright before upping their offer only to have Wright himself say that everything the team was leaking to the media was a lie. But at the end, everyone got what they wanted, especially the Mets fans who surely would've taken to the streets in protest had the team let another wildly popular franchise cornerstone walk away.
At first glance, the money in the deal isn't outrageous at an average annual value of just over $17 million for a guy who has posted a 47.0 fWAR over eight-plus big league seasons. If there is something not to like about this contract it is the length. Wright will be 30 in a few weeks, so this locks him up through his age 38 season and it is hard to imagine that he'll still be getting the value boost of being a third baseman by the time his contract expires. Part of that is aging but a bigger part is Wright's recent health history. From 2009 through 2011, Wright saw his production drop off due to a variety of injury issues, most notably a concussion that had some lingering effects. He shook that injury bug though in 2012 and returned to posting elite level numbers. The Mets will have to hope that he can continue to avoid the injury bug going forward to make sure that they get what they paid for with this massive extension.
Of course, as alluded to above, this contract was not strictly about on field performance. In the wake of their involvement in the Bernie Madoff scandal and their own financial struggles, the Wilpon family that owns the Mets has been fighting an uphill PR battle with their fanbase for the last few years. Even if Wright doesn't live up to this payday, the Wilpons will have earned some goodwill with their customers by stepping up to the plate to keep him in town and likely make Wright a Met for life.
Now let's see if they go and spoil much of that goodwill by trading away another fan favorite, R.A. Dickey, at the Winter Meetings as the rumor mill suggests. These are still the Mets, after all. They aren't going to completely change their ways overnight.