On Sunday, the Washington Nationals and 27-year-old third baseman, Ryan Zimmerman agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract extension. Zimmerman, who had two years and $26 million remaining on his contract, essentially signed an eight-year, $126 million deal. That’s big bucks for one of the game’s underrated players.
While Zimmerman just collected big bucks, the New York Mets have their own late-20s third baseman who is approaching free agency. Given Zimmerman’s hefty contract, is it reasonable to expect the Mets to keep David Wright?
Wright is in the final year of his six-year, $55 million contract. However, the Mets hold a $16 million player option for 2013. Given Zimmerman’s $17 million average annual value for his contract, should the Mets pick up Wright’s player option? Onto the WAR Graph:
Even though Zimmerman is two years younger, Wright and Zimmerman have basically been equally valuable for their respective teams. It’s ironic too that both players dealt with injuries during their age 26 seasons. Regardless of how he performs in 2012, it’s a no-brainer that the Mets should pick up Wright’s $16 million option. Based on market conditions and inflation alone, he’s a pretty good value. Plus, the Mets don’t exactly have many big name players.
After 2013 though, the Mets may run into some problems. While no one really knows how bad the Wilpons’ financial situation is, this off-season has pained a pretty clear picture. On free agents alone, the Mets’ biggest move was inking reliever, Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million deal. The Mets did not make a competitive (if any) offer to Jose Reyes and Met fans know when healthy, Reyes is a better player than Wright is. A team like the Chicago Cubs may come in with a huge offer to Wright and he’ll leave town just like Jose did.
The decision on whether David Wright stays or goes after the 2013 season is squarely on management. After judging how ownership barely spent this off-season and let Reyes just walk away to a division rival should tell the Met fan everything. Unless the Wilpons’ sell the team, David Wright will be wearing a different jersey in 2014. Enjoy his 20-20 production while he’s here.