PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — David Wright has some unfinished business in New York, and he still has faith he can win with the Mets.
The third baseman re-signed this winter for another eight years and $138 million, a contract he said gave him some peace of mind about his future.
“It’s so easy to look at the offseason and see we lost a Cy Young winning pitcher (R.A. Dickey), and we didn’t go out and sign a lot of big-ticket free agents,” Wright said before the first full-squad workout Monday. “We didn’t spend a lot of money, but the guys that were here last year know what we were able to accomplish the first half and that was fun, going out there and playing good baseball and winning a lot of games. … There are 100 different reasons why guys are motivated and excited about this season, and when you put together a room full of those young, energetic players, those types of teams can be scary.”
The Mets started 46-40 last season but won just 28 of their last 76 games. In nine years in the majors, Wright has been to the playoffs once, in 2006.
“I got a small taste of it, and it’s addicting. We were right in the middle of things the next two years. Since then, we’ve regressed, but that feeling is addicting,” Wright said.
Wright has long been a leader in the clubhouse, but that role has become even more important as the team gets younger, manager Terry Collins said.
“He may not hold team meetings, but he does a lot of one-on-one stuff,” Collins said.
Collins said he’d approach Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson about officially naming Wright the team’s captain.
“I’ve never had that before, so I’m not really sure what the process is,” Collins said. “I have an idea in my head of how to approach it as we move forward, and I’ll start that process. But it’s something I need to discuss with Jeff and Sandy first.”
Wright said when he spoke to Alderson during contract negotiations, he felt reassured about the team’s future. He’s excited about the potential of pitchers like Matt Harvey, who made his major league debut last July, and Zack Wheeler, who is expected to be called up sometime this summer.
“They have electric stuff,” Wright said. “You see how Washington has turned it around so quickly. You see how San Francisco has won championships, and that’s based on those young power arms, and we have a lot of those.”
When he re-signed, Wright knew it was possible the Mets would trade Dickey, a deal that was announced just days later. While it was tough to see a player of that caliber leave, Wright understood the move.
“I want to be good for the next eight years, not a win-at-all-costs for one or two years,” Wright said. “I think that’s the direction we are going and I applaud that.”
NOTES: Alderson announced Monday the Mets have decided not to grant Johan Santana permission to play in the World Baseball Classic. “Under the circumstances, we don’t think it’s in his best interest or ours,” Alderson said. Alderson noted Santana was technically not eligible to represent his native Venezuela unless the WBC committee agreed to insure his Mets contract because he finished last season on the disabled list. … Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is experiencing a “slight tug” in his right side and will travel back to New York on Tuesday to be checked out by team doctors. Murphy, who played through similar pain last year, participated in fielding drills Monday but did not hit. “For it to happen early, I think we’ll be able to get this out of the way,” Murphy said. “I don’t foresee it being a problem after the next week to 10 days.”
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