With long-term extension talks ongoing, the Mets exercised a $16-million contract option for third baseman David Wright and a $5-million option for pitcher R.A. Dickey.
Yesterday's moves ensure that both players will return for next season. However, the Mets intend to explore extensions to keep both players beyond 2013. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson considers both "core players" he wants to keep as part of his long-term rebuilding plan.
Wright, who turns 30 in December, hit .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBIs for the Mets.
One rival executive believes Wright will command a multiyear deal with an average value of roughly $20 million. If the sides can't agree to an extension, the Mets could attempt to trade Wright, though one rival executive said all signs point to a new long-term contract.
"Trading him is probably the right thing to do from a rebuilding perspective," the executive said. "But it will be difficult given the popularity of the player and the market they play in."
Even with the Mets in the middle of a large-scale rebuilding, a rival general manager said the club likely can't afford to lose Wright.
"You don't want to become the Astros," the GM said. "[Wright] is probably the right guy to build around."
Melky Cabrera will be among the outfielders available when free agency opens Saturday. However, the Mets have yet to discuss internally the possibility of signing the former Yankee, according to a person with knowledge of the team's thinking.
Cabrera hit .346 for the Giants before his season was cut short by a 50-game suspension for steroid use. But the cash-strapped Mets are in desperate need of outfielders and Cabrera might sign a one-year deal in exchange for the chance to rebuild his career.
Dinner for Forde update
The dinner to benefit Mets media relations staffer Shannon Forde has been moved to Nov. 29 at Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, N.J. Proceeds from the dinner, which had been scheduled for Thursday, will go toward assisting Forde in her battle with Stage IV breast cancer. Damage from Hurricane Sandy forced the postponement. For more information, see hopeshinesforshannon.com.