Capitals

Wright, Mets finalize $138 million, 8-year deal

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Wright, Mets finalize $138 million, 8-year deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) David Wright and the New York Mets finalized a $138 million, eight-year contract Tuesday, the largest deal in the team's history.

The contract was agreed to last week, subject to a physical, and the team said Wright planned to discuss it Wednesday at the winter meetings.

``I've grown up in this organization and made lifelong friendships with teammates, uniform personnel and front office staff. I'm grateful for the opportunity to finish what I've started,'' Wright said.

Wright's new deal replaces the $16 million salary he was to have earned under a 2013 option in his previous contract. The new deal contains deferred money.

``We're thrilled for the organization and our fans that David will be a Met for many years to come,'' Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said. ``As great a player as David's been with us on the field - one of the greatest and most popular Mets ever - he's been equally outstanding in the community.''

Without the agreement, Wright could have become a free agent after the 2013 season. New York also is trying to reach a new deal with NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, who is signed for $5.25 million next year and then can become a free agent.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spoke briefly Monday with Dickey's agent, Bo McKinnis.

``I don't think we've reached the point where there isn't something possible, but time will tell,'' Alderson said. ``I think we've always said we'd like to sign R.A. and keep him in New York.''

Alderson has been exploring trade possibilities involving Dickey.

``Something could happen on either front that would bring this to a conclusion, presumably,'' Alderson said. ``I don't expect that's going to happen today. It may not happen tomorrow. It may not happen in Nashville.''

Wright, who turns 30 on Dec. 20, batted .306 with 21 homers and 93 RBIs last season as the Mets went 74-88 and finished fourth in the NL East for the fourth straight year. He also had a .391 on-base percentage to go with 41 doubles and 15 stolen bases.

Teammate Johan Santana signed a $137.5 million, six-year contract with New York after being acquired in a trade from Minnesota before the 2008 season.

Selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2001 amateur draft, Wright made his Mets debut in July 2004 and quickly secured the job at third base - a trouble spot for the team throughout its colorful history.

Wright has made six All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves, compiling a .301 career average with 204 home runs and 818 RBIs in 8 1/2 major league seasons. He is the club's career leader in several major offensive categories including hits, RBIs, runs and walks.

``I think it's a great statement that David wanted to stay with the organization that drafted him,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said. ``David is the leader of this team in the clubhouse, on the field and in the community.''

New York has lowered its payroll in recent seasons as attendance has declined at Citi Field. Asked whether next year's budget was based on the same home attendance as this year, 2.2 million, Alderson said the revenue projection was produced by another department. Then he added: ``Well, I don't think it's predicated on 4 million.''

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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