Mets, David Wright in contract talks
LAS VEGAS -- David Wright and the Mets have been engaged in contract talks, though a person with knowledge of the discussions said the sides have yet to exchange dollar figures.
Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, who attended Game 2 of the World Series in San Francisco Thursday night, acknowledged that the sides have been talking. However, he stopped short of offering specifics.
"I don't want to get into that,'' Wilpon said. "I know there's been some conversations.''
Team COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson, who joined other team officials in Las Vegas Thursday to visit the club's new Triple-A affiliate, also refused comment. They cited commissioner Bud Selig's preference for teams to shy away from announcements that might take attention away from the game's signature event, the World Series.
Nevertheless, the Mets have been out front about their desire to extend Wright, the six-time All-Star third baseman whom they consider the face of the franchise.
The Mets control Wright through next season with a $16-million club option that they can exercise shortly after the World Series, though the team hopes to move quickly toward an extension. A person with knowledge of the talk said the team has been "pleased'' with the course of early discussions.
A rival general manager said the Mets likely will need to give Wright a deal comparable to the one signed by former teammate Jose Reyes. Last winter, the Marlins lured the former Mets shortstop with a backloaded six-year deal worth $106 million.
If the Mets don't sign Wright, he surely will become the center of trade speculation. If the third baseman is put on the trading block, a rival executive predicted that "there will be teams lining up to acquire his services.''
While attending a news conference Thursday for Selig's "Welcome Back Veterans'' program, Fred Wilpon said he is confident in the front office's offseason efforts, though he refused to share details about the club's long-term plan.
"I think they're working very hard,'' he said. "I think they have a good plan and they now have to execute that plan. They will. They will.''
In particular, Wilpon expressed support for Alderson and manager Terry Collins, who is entering the final season of his contract.
"I like the position that I'm in,'' Wilpon said. "I also think the face of the organization should be the faces that are there -- our manager and our general manager -- and I like both of them a lot."
With David Lennon