Going into this offseason, the New York Mets have had two priorities: sign David Wright long-term, and give RA Dickey a contract extension. Neither has gone very far this fall, and the latest news on Wright is disturbing from the perspective of a Mets fan. New York offered their All-Star third baseman a six year, $100 million extension that's comparable to the extensions signed by Ryan Zimmerman and Evan Longoria in recent seasons.
The problem with offering that extension to Wright as opposed to offering it to Zimmerman or Longoria is that Wright is not years away from free agency like those two players were, instead staring free agency down the barrel next winter. The $16.7 million average value of the extensions also represented a sizable raise for both Zimmerman and Longoria. For Wright, the raise is negligible, as he's already making $16 million for the 2013 season. So essentially, the Mets offer to Wright isn't a show of good faith by rewarding him for his play, but instead a hollow offering to make it seem like the team is doing something when they're really just trying to pay Wright what he's already making. Contract extensions don't work that way for a 29-year old coming off of a seven win season.
Wright apparently wants at least seven years in his next contract, be it with the Mets or another team, and I'd imagine he'd want a raise on the $16 million he'll make. By using the Zimmerman and Longoria contracts as a template for Wright's extension, the Mets are doing things completely wrong. Zimmerman signed his six year extension with two years remaining on his initial five year extension, and Longoria's new extension was signed while he still had four years (three option years) left on his initial contract. Wright is one year away from free agency, and that contract won't work this winter. It may have worked *last* winter, but not in 2012.
If the Mets want to keep Wright in the fold, they're going to likely need to offer him seven years, and bump the total money to around $120 million. That will give Wright the total years he's looking for in the extension, and give him a raise as well. On the open market, Wright would likely get a much higher offer from a team other than the Mets, and New York cannot let their superstar get put in that position. Reports have come out that the Mets have indeed upped their offer to seven years and nine figures, but the average salary is still yet unknown. That's a step in the right direction at least.