MIAMIThe Mets waved goodbye to one franchise player last winter. They are not about to lose another, at least not without making an aggressive push to re-sign him. The team is quietly preparing to offer third baseman David Wright a long-term contract extension at some point later this year—perhaps as soon as this summer—according to a baseball official briefed on the Mets’ thinking. The Mets hold a $16 million option to retain Wright for 2013, so there is no urgency for them to begin discussing an extension with his representatives. But they are likely to do so before next winter, the official said, because if they cannot reach an agreement, the Mets would have to consider trading him in the offseason.  General manager Sandy Alderson is still assessing Wright’s long-term value, and no decision has been made on either the terms or the timing of any offer. But it has become increasingly likely that Wright, 29, will remain a Met for years to come. Alderson declined to comment on any potential contract negotiations Sunday. But he all but ruled out trading Wright this summer. “I certainly do not foresee, under any circumstances, David being a topic of discussion at the trade deadline,” Alderson said.

There are certain times you need to play chicken at the negotiating table. Certain times you need to play hardball. Let the other guy blink first and all that other shit.

This is not one of those times. The Mets need to give David Wright a Ryan Zimmerman range extension and they need to do it before next season. I don’t even care that they can control him through 2013. If there’s ever been a player who the Mets needed to keep, its David. Even with the Reyes debacle last season, my concern was more about the Mets being too cheap or not handling the trade deadline situation properly, not really about the type of player Reyes is/was/will be. DW is a completely different story. The dude has been nothing but a consummate professional on a team that has been an unmitigated disaster throughout his prime. He’s been through collapses and chokes. He’s dealt with ownership blatantly talking shit about him to the public. He’s dealt with a new ballpark that all but crippled his power for a couple seasons in his prime. Spent the past 4 or 5 years sitting at his locker answering any and all questions with complete class and dignity while 90% of his other teammates played the “No hablo ingles” card. Been through 3 coaches, 2 GMs, and enough ridicule to drive a lesser man insane. Never said a bad word about anyone in this franchise. And after several years of peaks and valleys, here he is this season, leading the league in batting and leading a bunch of no name scrubs into contention on a year when some people predicted they’d lose 100 games.

Being perfectly honest, if I were David Wright, I probably wouldn’t even take an extension if they offered it. I’d tell Fred Wilpon to go fuck himself. I’d take my “good kid but not superstar” self somewhere else. Somewhere where I wouldn’t need to worry about Ponzi schemes and my owners playing bush league moneyball with the rest of the roster letting me flounder in my prime. Instead of a “hometown discount” I’d demand a “hometown premium” to stick around after all I’d been through. But thats the difference between David Wright and myself. I’m an asshole and David Wright is a loyal stand up guy. In all likelihood, assuming the Mets actually do the right thing and offer him a fair contract, David will be here the rest of his career. I just wouldn’t even blame him if he didn’t want to.