NASHVILLE — David Wright wore a shirt with blue. His tie was bright orange.
While Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry left, Wright is following through on his goal of playing his entire career with the New York Mets.
“I’ve never pictured myself in a different uniform,” he said Wednesday at a news conference to talk about his $138 million, eight-year contract, the largest in team history. “It wouldn’t be as meaningful, I think, if I were to win somewhere else.”
Playing in the shadow of the Yankees, the Mets have won just two World Series titles and none since 1986. Given their history, it seemed appropriate that Wright said, “I’ve wanted to be here though the good times, through the bad times,” echoing a line from the song “I’m Still Here” from the Stephen Sondheim musical “Follies.”
Wright is a six-time All-Star who turns 30 on Dec. 20. He is the team’s all-time hits leader and has a .301 career batting average. The third baseman has never been to the World Series, falling one win short in 2006. He’s seen Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez depart as the Mets slashed payroll during the fallout from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme that cost the Wilpon family, which owns the team, hundreds of millions of dollars.
“It just feels like there’s so much unfinished business and I’d like to finish what I’ve started,” Wright said. “Honestly, it wouldn’t mean as much to me winning somewhere else as it would obviously winning here.”
Talks began during the first week of October, when the Mets played a season-ending series at Miami. Wright, like most everyone around the Mets, worried about the team’s finances. He wanted assurances the Wilpons wouldn’t sell the team. After the season, Wright met with general manager Sandy Alderson for a round of golf and a late lunch-early dinner at the Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach.