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By Shawn Clarke, MLB Contributor - Archive - Email
Wright has upper hand for new deal
David Wright is not one to stir the pot with contract talks or show up his boss.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In most work environments, hard work literally pays off.

Putting more money into the already-deep pockets of an employer should warrant some sort of merit increase, right?

So correct me if I'm wrong when I say that New York Mets third baseman David Wright should be holding Fred Wilpon from his ankles right now and collecting anything with monetary value. Or Wright could go Suge Knight style and dangle Wilpon from a balcony. But nobody deserves to be treated like Vanilla Ice.

Wright is not one to stir the pot with contract talks or show up his boss, and even said it was a distraction for him back in 2006. Wright won't discuss a new deal until the offseason because he feels it's selfish and would draw attention away from a team that is rolling right now. Perhaps negotiations between Wright's agent and the Mets have been underway for quite some time and rumors of trading the All-Star third baseman are foolish.

The Mets have been successful this season mainly because of Wright and some other guy named R.A. Dickey, and they may want to steer clear of what happened with Jose Reyes a year ago. Reyes and Wright were supposed to be the cornerstones on the left side of the infield in New York for years, and now Reyes is speeding around the base paths in Miami. And who could blame him?

Wright, who has a $16 million team option for 2013, could bring in a boatload of prospects if the Mets' brass feels that is the way to go. Bad idea. So what if Wright will cost more than $100 million over five or six years, and he's nearing the age of 30. Pay him like he's Paulie Cicero from "Goodfellas."

What drives Wright is failure. He simply doesn't want to go up in smoke. And his desire to sport orange and blue for the rest of his career is an obvious logic to bust open the wallet. Also, the love affair he has with the fans may not play a role in getting a new deal, but it's something ownership must keep an eye on before getting grilled for having no loyalty to its star player and the ones who pay handsomely to watch him.

Mets fans busted out the "MVP" chants for Wright following Thursday's 6-5 win over the rival Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Wright was the hero with a bloop RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, capping a two-run rally that kept New York within striking distance of the NL East lead. Of course, Wright was his modest self afterward.

"I had the worst at-bat out of everybody in that inning," said Wright, who also homered for the second time in three games before taking a shaving cream pie in the face. "More lucky than anything, but I was glad to get the opportunity because the guys in front of me had some incredible at-bats."

Give Wright credit because he got one over on a tough closer in Jonathan Papelbon, who rarely blows saves when he's called from the bullpen. Wouldn't it be nice to have Wright in the fold for the next few years to battle Papelbon, who signed a deal with Philadelphia in the offseason? It just makes for better baseball between two storied rivals.

One of the few power hitters in the New York lineup and arguably the best third baseman in the Senior Circuit (don't tell Ryan Zimmerman), Wright should tap into that hefty settlement from a lawsuit in regards to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Wright is currently tapping into the heads of opposing pitchers with a .354 batting average, a .570 slugging percentage, a .443 on-base percentage, 59 RBI, 55 runs scored and 11 home runs.

Those statistics made him an All-Star for the sixth time in his career and could garner National League MVP honors.

"There's two halves in the season," Wright told the club's website. "Individually, it's kind of the pessimistic side of me, I always think I can improve on some things. I think there's a lot of things I can work on for the second half. But the biggest thing is you can't get complacent with where you're at. It's a humbling game."

More importantly, the next question for Wright is whether the production will result in more numbers when he cashes his check.

Just make sure you ask him in late October.


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