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Friday, November 02, 2012

Mets off-season plans depend on "The Wright Situation"

The Mets have many holes to fill this off-season..The Mets have needs at catcher, outfield and bullpen, but everything is secondary to completing a deal with Wright, whose agents are continuing discussions with team brass about a long-term contract extension for the All-Star third baseman.

The Mets earlier this week exercised their 2013 option on Wright worth $16 million, but if a long-term deal can’t be struck, there is a real possibility Wright will be traded before next month’s Winter Meetings conclude.

Yesterday a source said negotiations between Wright’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, and the Mets were ongoing, but stuck in neutral.

Wright, who will turn 30 next month, is believed to be seeking a seven-year contract in the $125 million range, which, coupled with his picked-up option (at either the current rate or a newly negotiated sum), would give him the largest deal in franchise history.

The Mets also picked up R.A. Dickey’s 2013 option, worth $5 million, earlier this week, but all indications are the team won’t begin serious negotiations with the knuckleballer until Wright’s situation is resolved.

There is the possibility the 38-year-old Dickey would want to know Wright’s status before agreeing to a new contract with the team. Trading Dickey also remains a possibility if a deal can’t be reached with the right-hander.

Former Reds and Nationals GM and ESPN Analysis Jim Bowden described the Mets front office as treating David Wright negotiations in a similar fashion to the way things went with Jose Reyes. Still,  Bowden predicted Wright ultimately would agree to an extension in the neighborhood of seven years, $126 million with the club (presumably on top of the $16 million extension for 2013 that already has been picked up).

If the Mets decide that their chances of signing Wright to a long term deal is not going anywhere they can trade him for a package that will compensate them..

According to the former GM Bowden, the Mets match up best with Red Sox, Angels, Diamondbacks, Royals and Rangers..

Bowden goes on to predict five plausible trades if the Mets go that direction:

1) The Boston Red Sox for third base prospect Will Middlebrooks and a top starting pitching prospect such as Allen Webster or Matt Barnes.

2) The Los Angeles Angels for a package including first base prospect C.J. Cron and fleet footed outfielder Peter Bourjos. Cron, a middle-of-the-lineup bat who was the Angels’ first-round selection in the 2011 draft out of the University of Utah. Cron possesses incredible power and has a chance to be an impact bat with the ability to drive in 100 runs. Bourjos has Gold Glove defensive ability with special range. However, how much he’s going to hit is still debatable. Of course, with a deal like this, the Mets would then have to try to trade incumbent first baseman Ike Davis for another need.

3) The Arizona Diamondbacks for former No. 1 pick Trevor Bauer. Therefore, they might be willing to make former No. 1 pick Trevor Bauer available for Wright, especially given that some of the Arizona field staff is frustrated with Bauer’s stubbornness and work plan.

4) The Kansas City Royals for a package including third baseman Mike Moustakas, who could give the Mets a minimum of 20 home runs and 80 RBIs at third base for minimal cost.

5) The Texas Rangers for a "Mike Olt, Derek Holland and Craig Gentry-type of deal." Olt would solve third base; Holland would improve the rotation; and Gentry would give them a tremendous defensive center fielder with blazing speed and a bat that is still developing.

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