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AP source: Wright, Mets strike $138M, 8-year deal
NEW YORK (AP) - The face of the New York Mets plans to stick around for quite a while.
The deal, the richest in franchise history, replaces Wright’s $16 million salary for next season and includes $122 million in new money, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.
A homegrown fan favorite, Wright is the club’s career leader in several major offensive categories including hits, RBIs, runs and walks.
Wright is to attend teammate Daniel Murphy’s wedding in Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend, then travel to New York for a physical. The contract with the All-Star third baseman probably will be announced at next week’s winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn., the person said.
The agreement, negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson, was first reported by WFAN radio.
Some of the money in Wright’s deal will be deferred.
Wright, who turns 30 on Dec. 20, would have been eligible for free agency after next season. The Mets also are trying to reach a deal with Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, who can become a free agent after next season.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had said that signing Wright and Dickey to multiyear deals were his top priorities this offseason. Alderson, however, would not rule out trading Dickey in a deal that could upgrade the roster.
Wright batted .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBIs last season as the Mets went 74-88 and finished fourth in the NL East for the fourth straight year. He also had a .391 on-base percentage to go with 41 doubles and 15 stolen bases.
Teammate Johan Santana signed a $137.5 million, six-year contract with New York after being acquired in a trade from Minnesota before the 2008 season.
Selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, Wright made his Mets debut in July 2004 and quickly secured the job at third base _ a trouble spot for the team throughout its colorful history.
Wright has made six All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves, compiling a .301 career average with 204 home runs and 818 RBIs in 8 1/2 major league seasons. He has often expressed his desire to play his entire career with the Mets.
Wright, who had a base salary of $15.25 million this year, appears poised to sign a contract comparable in total compensation to the big deals handed out this year to star third basemen Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman.
Longoria agreed Monday to a $136.6 million, 10-year contract with Tampa Bay that adds six guaranteed seasons and $100 million to his previous deal. It includes a team option for 2023 that could make the agreement worth $144.6 million over 11 years.
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