Mets could begin contract talks with David Wright next week

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We heard earlier this week that the Mets are expected to open negotiations with David Wright by offering him an extension “in the neighborhood” of $100 million. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson already began his pitch to Wright in September, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that formal talks between the two sides could begin as soon as next week.

Mike Puma of the New York Post was told by a baseball source last weekend that it’s feasible a deal could get done by the World Series, but a Mets source told Martino that it’s “too soon to tell.” While the Mets would like to keep a long-term deal in the range of $100 million, it’s believed he could command a six- or seven-year deal worth $120 million or more.

Wright, who turns 30 in December, batted .306/.391/.492 with 21 home runs, 93 RBI and an .883 OPS in 156 games played this season. His contract includes a $16 million club option for 2013.

The Mets have yet to engage in any serious talks with R.A. Dickey, though they are expected to at some point in the near future. If they two sides are unable to make progress, it’s possible the National League Cy Young hopeful could be traded this winter. His contract includes a bargain $5 million club option for next season.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉