Mets' Wright gets contract extension

Mets' Wright gets contract extension

NEW YORK -- When the agents who represent David Wright arrived at the offices at Shea Stadium on Saturday, the Mets just had completed their 4-3 victory against the Phillies.

They played dumb. Fully aware of the game's final play, a handsome diving stop, stand up and throw by their client, they asked Omar Minaya , "And how did the game end?" as if they needed to reinforce what the Mets already knew about the value of their third baseman.

"I think that play cost us a few thousand more," the Mets general manager said, smiling as he spoke.

By that point, the Mets already had agreed on the dollars and cents, agreed that Wright, the face of the franchise, should be a fixture in the future as well. All that remained was to dot the "I" and cross the "T" in Wright.

By 4:15 p.m. ET Sunday, all of that had been accomplished. The Mets put their money where the mouth is for the second time in four days, agreeing to pay their poster boy $55 million for six more years of service.

The contract could -- and almost certainly will -- keep Wright in Mets colors through the 2013 season. The Mets have an option for 2013 and, for now, every intention to exercise it.

"Even now, it's hard to imagine David playing anywhere else." Minaya said.

The announcement was made at Shea Stadium on Sunday before the Mets played the Phillies, a day after Wright's diving play denied the Phillies a ninth-inning tying run and four days after the club "locked up" the other half of the left side of its infield, Jose Reyes, for four years and $23.25 million.

"It's been a special week for us," Minaya said. "This is a significant move for us."

Wright's contract provides for a $1.5 million signing bonus, salaries of $1 million next year, $5 million in 2008, $7.5 million in 2009, $10 million in 2010, $14 million in 2011 and $15 million in 2012. If the Mets exercise their option for 2013, the All-Star third baseman will earn $16 million. If they don't, he will receive $1 million.

And if the unthinkable were to happen, if the Mets were to deal their most marketable player, he would receive the buyout, but his new employer wouldn't gain the right to keep him through 2013. Another layer of Mets security for Wright.

"I've always wanted to be a life-long Met," Wright said. "I made that clear. This is a big step in that direction."

Wright, 23, will donate $1.5 million over the course of the contract to the Mets Foundation, and he and the foundation will decide how the money will be dispersed to various charities.

The Mets were very much in favor of that scenario. Minaya characterized Reyes, Wright and Carlos Beltran as the Mets' core in January 2005, when Beltran signed as a free agent. Minaya has since added Lastings Milledge to the roster and that list of core players.

"We are all about the present or all about the future," Minaya said. "We think you can have both."

"It's great for the organization," manager Willie Randolph said. "David and Jose are the cornerstone of the franchise, and it's great to tie them up for the next number of years. I'm looking forward to watching them get better and play together. I'm very happy for them and their families."

Reyes-speed negotiations regarding Wright began in earnest on Wednesday, a day before the Mets announced the Reyes signing and publicly denied they had intentions of negotiating a multi-year contract with Wright. The club had contacted Wright's representatives, Sam and Seth Levinson, and the Mets had agreed to limit the time spent negotiating so as not to have the efforts become a distraction to Wright.

"We just wanted to get it done by the end of the weekend," Minaya said. "If it was going to get done, it was going to get done quickly."

The general manager and the Levinsons acknowledged their familiarity, born of other contract negotiations with the Mets and Expos, accelerated the Reyes and Wright negotiations.

Wright, who earns $374,000 this season -- the club renewed his contract in March -- called the interim days "exciting" and the contract "humbling" because it represents the club's commitment to him. He said he wasn't worried about getting a deal done any more than he was upset by the club's decision to renew. He spoke of his "love and passion" for the Mets.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.