Getting Creative with David Wright’s Possible Contract Extension

Sandy Alderson insists he will attempt to sign David Wright to a contract extension following the season. A year ago he said he would attempt to re-sign Jose Reyes and then never made an offer, so take this latest statement with a grain of salt. However if Alderson is actually telling the truth this time, he must get creative with this extension.

Will David Wright wear Mets uniform forever?

The Mets payroll will likely be around the same in 2013 as it is this season — about $95 million. Johan Santana and Jason Bay will take up $44 million of that (not including their 2014 buyouts). Add in $20 million options for Wright and R.A. Dickey as well as $10 million in obligations to two other players, and the Mets have $20 million to spend on the rest of the team. That’s not a heck of a lot for 19 guys.

But there is a way to free up some extra money to get more flexibility for 2013. I’m assuming the Mets will try to sign Wright to a five-year extension worth around $18 million per year. With his $16 million option for 2013, that would amount to a six-year, $106 million deal. That’s very fair to both sides.

However let’s say the Mets and Wright agree to toss out the option and replace it with a six-year deal worth $18 million per year. That would be two extra million for Wright. In return, Wright could agree to defer $10 million of his 2013 salary, spread out evenly over the remaining five years when Santana and Bay are off the books. This would give the Mets an extra $10 million with which to work next season, which could help them sign a power-hitting outfielder.

I think Wright would do this; I’m sure he can survive one year making “only” $8 million. Also, it would help the team immensely, and Wright has a history of doing whatever he can to help the Mets.

Sandy Alderson has not shown that he is the creative type, but given the payroll restrictions, creativity is absolutely necessary. Let’s hope he can rise to the task.