David Wright Wants Wins More Than Money

Wright's comments put his contract back on the forefront

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012  |  Updated 6:33 PM EDT
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David Wright Wants Wins More Than Money

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What's right for Wright might be wrong for Mets.

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Unless you're the sort of person who has a deep love for games being played in front of empty stadiums, there isn't much to look forward to in this Mets season.

There's a good deal of intrigue about Mets seasons to come, though, and David Wright's contract status is right at the top of that list. Barring some unforeseen scandal or catastrophe, the Mets are going to pick up his $16 million option for next year but what comes after that is less certain.

Neither the Mets nor Wright haven't been talking much about a contract extension since the season went south and the thoughts of unexpected success have disappeared from the hearts and minds of the Mets faithful. Wright was talking about with the Post this week, though, and he's sending something of a mixed message about his intentions.

"The money issue for me, I don’t think that will be the deciding factor,” said Wright. "You want to be able to win, and I’ve only experienced a little bit of that here. In a perfect world, we get this thing turned around and going in the right direction and ultimately I get to experience the bad, the ugly and the good here, which includes winning."

The mixed part of the message is how staying with the Mets fits into his desire to win because only the most cockeyed optimist can see the Mets as consistent contenders in the next few seasons. Even if they re-sign Wright and R.A. Dickey, who is also set to be a free agent after the Mets pick up his option for next year, it is hard to see where staying in New York would give Wright his best chance to win.

Sandy Alderson's done strong work with the Mets system, but there are no Bryce Harper, Mike Trout or Manny Machado-type offensive talents ready to help the team. Ruben Tejada's a good player, but you aren't building a winner around the likes of Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis even if they prove to be better than they showed this season.

It's funny that the thought around the Mets has long been that Wright's salary would be the problem. With the Madoff mess cleared up and Johan Santana and Jason Bay's contracts a year away from being on the books, the money won't be the problem.

The issue is going to be doing enough before the start of next season -- Wright said he won't talk contract during the year -- to convince the third baseman that the team is actually on a winning path. That's going to mean looking outside for offensive help, which means deviating from the plan put in place when Alderson was hired and risking the kinds of mistakes that got the team here in the first place.

Is keeping Wright worth that? Or will Alderson take a page from his Oakland days and let the veteran walk while sticking with a plan of tearing everything down?

It's not an easy choice, but at least it's a bit more defined thanks to Wright's assessment of the situation.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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