I’m in the mood to stir the pot, so here it goes. What is the main difference you see to the Reyes contract movement verses the Wright contract movement? To me it’s an organization that is actually attempting to sign a player. The communication from the front office is so different for Wrights contract compared to Reyes. Just look at the following timelines.
Reyes Contract Negotiations:
05/30/2011, Fred Wilpon: “He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money, he’s had everything wrong with him, he won’t get it.” 1
11/11/2011: Reyes receives a formal offer from Miami
11/15/2011, Sandy Alderson: “I don’t want to give you the false impression that we or they are anywhere along a road, I still think it’s early, notwithstanding all the background noise from the last week.” 2
11/23/2011: Mets offer arbitration to Jose Reyes
12/01/2011, Sandy Alderson: “I certainly would hope we’ll have conversations certainly by the time we get to Dallas [winter meetings], or at Dallas. There have not been any discussions in recent days, but I do expect to have them over the next handful of days.” 3
12/04/2011, Sandy Alderson: (Alderson commenting on rumors that Reyes signed with Miami) “I’ve heard what you’ve heard. I have no way of verifying that independently. We’ll see whether those rumors turn out to be true. If they are true, I think that Jose at this point is beyond where we would have been.” 4
12/07/2011, Jose Reyes: The Mets don’t do anything to have me. It is what it is, man. This is a business and I have to move on. It’s over. I can’t be crying about that, because they don’t show me anything. They don’t push anything to have me there. Why should I be worried about it if they didn’t want me?” 5
12/07/2011, Sandy Alderson: “Well, on Sunday I knew it wasn’t happening. I more or less had a confirmation it wasn’t happening on Sunday morning. On Saturday night I had a very strong feeling that it was not going to happen — very strong if not certain sense that it was not going to happen. But as late as Saturday morning and through the course of Friday I thought it might be a possibility. In fact, I actually got excited about the possibility during that 18 hours or so. So working that chronology back, I would say at the beginning of that week I had some sense maybe there was a possibility. But that was all a function of what the market might have been. Our approach the whole way was to say, ‘Look, we kind of know what we can do here. We know it’s important to Jose.’ And try to match what we can do with what’s important to him. And see if that’s consistent with his other options — not looking for a discount, but hoping that the market would line up with us.”
“If you’re asking whether I should have sent him a box of chocolates, perhaps I should have done that. On the other hand, the box of chocolates wouldn’t have cost $106 million either.” 6
David Wright Contract Negotiations:
05/30/2011, Fred Wilpon: “A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar.” 1
11/08/2012, Sandy Alderson: Conversations are ongoing. Other than that, I really can’t say much. One of the things that we have done is we have agreed with David’s representatives that there not be a great deal of discussion publicly about where we are. So in deference to that understanding with the other side, I respectfully decline to comment.” As compared with the talks last off-season, the GM added: “There’s much more engagement. Let’s put it that way.” Sandy also shared during this interview that he personally visited with David in Virginia recently. 7
11/27/2012: Mets have made formal offers to David Wright. Multiple reports were outlined via anonymous sources through Mets beat reporters on Twitter.
11/27/2012, David Wright: “I have said from Day 1 that I want to play my entire career with the New York Mets. I remain hopeful that goal can be achieved. However, I am disappointed by the reports that I have read today which are inaccurate,” 8
Keep in mind during the time of the Reyes negotiations, the Mets let go of 10% of their work force, shut down their Gulf Coast minor league affiliate and were looking for investor’s to purchase ten 20 million dollar shares of the team as well as waiting for the outcome of the Madoff settlement. Oh yea, they also just realized they lost 70 million from the 2011 season. So the circumstances are very different compared to this year where the team has lost only 20 million and they are re-establishing their Gulf Coast affiliate. In January of 2012 they also hired a financial consultant to help streamline their budget processes.
So the 2 main things I see are different financial circumstances and different engagement. They weren’t reaching out directly to Reyes like they did to Wright. There were no formal contract offers to Reyes like there was to Wright. They discussed contract ranges with Reyes’s agents but they knew they were not in the ballpark so they pulled away and made moves like offering arbitration in order to obtain additional picks. Wright is not even a free agent yet but they are clearly demonstrating that they want him as Mr. Met for his entire career. The other minor view I see is Fred Wilpon’s assessment of the two players. His comments in the New Yorker clearly show that he feels both players are overrated but there is more angst in his tone and it is specific to the team’s view of his value. All this tells me that the Mets want to get it done and it is up to David.
Quotes obtained from the following articles
1: Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker: Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/30/110530fa_fact_toobin#ixzz2DWrNz4LC
2: Anthony DiComo MLB.com http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111114&content_id=25972726&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb
4: Adam Rubin ESPN.com: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/36857/alderson-on-losing-reyes
6: Adam Rubin ESPN.com: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/37093/alderson-should-have-sent-chocolate
7: Adam Rubin, ESPN.com: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/58761/alderson-discusses-hot-stove
8: Zach Links, MLBTR.com: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/david-wright-reports-are-inaccurate.html