The New York Mets have their man, now, and into the foreseeable future.
Franchise cornerstone David Wright has agreed to terms on a contract extension that could keep him in Queens until 2020, and the reported salary figures are pretty reasonable.
Wright's extension is reportedly for seven years and $122 million in addition to his $16 million salary for 2013, for a total package of eight years and $138 million.
That $138 million figure beats Johan Santana's $137.5 million six-year deal by $500,000 to become the largest contract in Mets history, albeit at a solid average annual value of $17.25 million.
Wright, who turns 30 on December 20, is the Mets' all-time leader in hits, doubles, runs scored, runs batted in and walks. He now has a chance to essentially be the Chipper Jones of the Mets.
WFAN's Ed Coleman broke the story in the wee hours of Friday morning that Wright and the Mets agreed to terms. Twitter was abuzz, even as most fans were sound asleep.
Coleman also reported Friday afternoon that Wright specifically requested to earn the bulk of his money in the middle years of his deal, so that his deal won't be a burden at the end of his career.
Wright will earn slightly more money than Carlos Beltran did as a free agent in 2005, and slightly less per year than Jose Reyes got as a free agent last winter. All in all, a great deal for both sides.
Now, with their centerpiece third baseman locked up, Sandy Alderson can enter the Winter Meetings focused on building around him, making sure they get the most out of their investment.
The R.A. Dickey situation should be resolved soon, so now the focus will turn to revamping the outfield and possibly finding a right-handed hitting catcher on the trade market.
Make no mistake, the perceived success of Wright's contract extension will likely depend more on the team's success than his individual greatness. That's just the way it is in New York.
That's why it's imperative that Alderson finds a way to build a long-term winner, even with the Mets' current financial woes. Salary flexibility may finally be on the horizon, however.
Most of the financial albatrosses that Alderson inherited from his predecessor will come off the payroll after the 2013 season. The Mets will have opportunities to spend smarter & more efficiently.
Wright can't do it alone. No one can. The last thing the Mets can afford to do is sit on their hands and call it a day. The biggest piece of the puzzle is in place. Now it's time to get to work.
If the Mets can build around Wright and have legitimate success by the end of his career, Alderson will be called a genius, and Wright will be beloved by the Shea faithful for life.
Yet if they fail, Alderson will be the goat, and Wright will be treated like fans treated Carlos Beltran. Unfairly scapegoated, and a divisive figure in Mets history.
Fair or unfair, this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately city, in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league. Always will be. Now, it's time for David to write the final act of his story.