December 6, 2012
On the Beat
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—It might not be fair to call David Wright Mr. Met. After all, he doesn't wear a size-22 baseball cap. However, the six-time All-Star third baseman is the closest thing to a Mr. Met in the non-mascot division. He was one of the franchise's first-round picks in the 2001 amateur draft following his senior year of high school in Chesapeake, Virginia, made his major-league debut three years later, and is now the franchise leader with 1,426 hits.
"Heck, I've been a Mets fan my entire life," Wright said. "I went to see their Triple-A farm club, the Tides, play all the time when I was a kid growing up in Norfolk. Playing for the Mets has been a dream come true."
Despite that fact, there was a bit of hesitation on Wright's part before he agreed to an eight-year, $138-million contract that will keep him with the Mets through the 2020 season. The pact was finalized Wednesday during the third day of the Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort.
Wright wanted to make sure the Mets were committed to winning after four consecutive fourth-place finishes in the National League East. Wright also needed to know the franchise was on solid footing after owner Fred Wilpon lost a reported $700 million in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Wright received his assurances in October when general manager Sandy Alderson made a visit to Norfolk for a round of golf and a late lunch.
"Once Sandy told me about his plan for making the Mets a winning franchise again, I was all in," Wright said. "I called my guys (agents Seth and Sam Levinson) and told them that we needed to get this done."