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Mets COO says no rush to sign Wright

05/30/2012 10:00 PM ET
By The Associated Press

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon acknowledged the importance of David Wright to the franchise.(AP)

NEW YORK (AP)  -- The Mets are in no rush to sign star third baseman David Wright to a new contract.

Wright's salary is $15.25 million this season and New York holds a $16 million option for 2013, which gets voided if he is traded. After that, he can become a free agent.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday night that the team planned to speak with Wright's agents this season about a new deal, though the GM explained that does not necessarily mean an offer is imminent.

''He's under contract this year, we have an option for next year, there's no gun to anybody's head,'' Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said Wednesday. ''So let it just play out and at the right time Sandy and I will discuss it and it will move on.''

Wilpon was asked about Wright after a news conference to announce a $20,000 charity donation from pitcher Johan Santana and the Mets that will help Tuesday's Children launch a new project designed to assist Spanish-speaking people affected by the Sept. 11 attacks.

The 29-year-old Wright is off to a terrific start for the surprising Mets, batting .370 with five homers and 29 RBIs going into Wednesday night's game against Philadelphia. He was leading the majors with a .470 on-base percentage and ranked among the NL leaders in several other categories.

The Mets slashed nearly $50 million off their payroll last offseason - one of the biggest one-year drops in baseball history - and let All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes leave as a free agent to sign a $106 million, six-year deal with the division-rival Marlins. Many fans wonder whether Wright, the face of the franchise for years, will be the next big name out the door.

''David's very special. He's very special to me personally, to the fan base, to the organization as a whole, the community,'' Wilpon said. ''Just give it time, let it play out and we'll hopefully have a good conclusion.''

The club's economic outlook has changed since Reyes left. There was good news in March when ownership settled a lawsuit by the trustee seeking money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme for up to $162 million. The agreement finally provided some financial certainty going forward, and Wilpon acknowledged that should make it easier to address big decisions such as the one involving Wright.

''It's nice to have the cloud lifted and gone,'' Wilpon said.

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