NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mets captain David Wright is becoming a special adviser to chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
In making the announcement Monday, the Mets said the 36-year-old third baseman would be placed on unconditional release waivers on Tuesday. His contract called for New York to pay him salaries of $15 million this year and $12 million in 2020, with $2.5 million annually deferred without interest.
Sidelined with leg, back and neck injuries, Wright did not play for the Mets from May 2016 until the final week of last season, when he announced his retirement. Wright made three plate appearances during the season’s final series against Miami.
Wilpon called Wright “an iconic Met” and said he “will be forever remembered for his contributions on the field as well as his numerous charitable endeavors.”
Wright attended last month’s winter meetings as a member of the Mets’ front office.
“We are thrilled he will remain close to the Mets family and will be a great asset in this new role,” Wilpon said.
A seven-time All-Star, Wright set Mets records for hits (1,777), doubles (390), runs (949) and RBIs (970).
“I will always be tremendously grateful for the way the fans treated me because playing in this city and for this team was a dream come true,” Wright said in a statement issued by the team. “I look forward to contributing and taking on the challenges of this new role.”
Wright and the Mets agreed to restructure his contract to defer more of this year’s salary. The $138 million eight-year deal originally called for a $15 million in salary this year and $12 million in 2020, with $2.5 million annually deferred without interest. The contract included $15.5 million in deferred money to be paid in $3.1 million installments each June 30 from 2021-25.
As part of the change, $4 million of this year’s salary is advanced and paid by Jan. 10 and $6 million is deferred at 2.5 percent interest compounded monthly. That leaves the remaining $2.5 million to be paid during the 2019 season.
The new deferred money is paid in three $2 million payments each July 1 from 2021-23, and the interest is paid on Dec. 31, 2023.
NOTES: The Mets agreed to a minor league contract with 31-year-old left-hander Hector Santiago, a move they planned to announce Tuesday. Santiago had a 4.50 ERA and two saves in 42 relief appearances and seven starts last year for the Chicago White Sox. He struck out 103 in 102 innings but allowed 102 hits and 60 walks.
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