David Wright takes the high road in response to the Wilpon comments

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The Mets are off today, so there doesn’t necessarily have to be a meet-the-press moment for the main players in Fred Wilpon-a-palooza until another day of the news cycle has passed. But at least one of the players called out by Fred Wilpon in the New Yorker profile — David Wright — has responded. And he has done so in a manner that suggests that maybe — just maybe — this could blow over with less craziness than one might expect:

“Fred is a good man and is obviously going through some difficult times. There is nothing more productive I can say at this time.”

I wonder if Reyes and Beltran will follow Wright’s lead and play the pity card rather then take a swipe back.  They’d be smart to, but really, I can’t say how I’d respond if my boss showed such a lack of discretion in a big feature article in the New Yorker.

Either way, the real damage here is the internal damage in terms of how the clubhouse responds and whether these sorts of comments by the owner sours players to coming to New York and all of that.  The responses of Wright, Beltran, Reyes and others, however, will likely determine the kind of shelf life this all has as a media story.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.