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Mail Sack: You Ask, I Answer (Shabbily)

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Today we answer some viewer mail. Matt asks the following questions about David Wright and Jose Reyes:

What really is the situation with Wright and Reyes? Are they both arbitration eligible after this year? What do you think they will get and for how many years? Also, when are those two free agents (as of now when do their contracts expire?)
A team retains the rights to a ballplayer for his first six years of MLB service time, unless they decide not to tender him a contract during any of those six years, at which point they become a free agent. After three years of service time a player becomes eligible for salary arbitration, which follows for the next three years. Neither Wright nor Reyes will have accumulated a full three years of service at the end of the 2006 season, though it's possible that one or both may qualify for arbitration as a "super-two", which are players with more than two years but fewer than three years.

If they were both arbitration eligible next year I would guess Reyes might get $2M and Wright might get $5M. It would be their first year of arbitration, so their rewards are largely based on precedent set by other players in their first year of arbitration.

Why don't the Mets sign these guys long term now because every day their price goes up?
There's really no rush to sign them right now because they're under control for at least three more seasons after 2006. Before he is eligible for free agency I am sure the Mets will lock up Wright to a long-term deal worth a lot of money. He loves the city and the team, so I don't see him going anywhere.

Reyes is a different story, because he hasn't established himself at this level the way Wright has. Reyes is still only a marginally-useful ballplayer right now, albeit one with the potential for, if not greatness, at least very-goodness. He has looked good through the first eight games of the season, but it remains to be seen whether he can turn potential into production.

Thanks for the questions, Matt. We'll answer some more next time somebody actually sends me e-mail.