NEW YORK -- With the Mets expected to make a significant splash in the free agent market this winter, David Wright is once again relishing his role as recruiter.
"How do you know I haven't already started making calls?" Wright quipped Thursday.
The captain laughed, knowing that his most serious recruiting pitches would wait until November and December, when the Hot Stove catches fire. Since joining the Mets, Wright has taken pride in serving as a lobbyist for free agents, as well as a one-man welcome committee for Draft picks and trade acquisitions.
The Mets could use his services this winter, when they figure to target at least one high-profile outfielder, as well as potentially a shortstop and pitcher.
With only $25 million on the books for next season, the Mets will be active in both the free agent and trade markets -- that is part of the promise general manager Sandy Alderson made to Wright when he signed an eight-year, $138-million contract extension last winter.
"It seems like it's all kind of culminating in this offseason to try to make this team better," Wright said. "The rebuilding project is coming to an end. We need to start winning and taking that next step to becoming a playoff-contending team. The last few years have been tough. This year has been tough. But I think that we have an opportunity to go out there and really make this team better this offseason with the money that we have. I'm expecting this team to be much better next year than it is this year."
That means spending for Alderson, and recruiting for Wright.
"Any way I can help, whether it's an opinion, whether it's a phone call, whatever, that's what I'm here for," Wright said. "I'm all in for this organization. And I believe they're the same -- they'll be all in with the money coming off the books."