NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- David Wright wanted to hear one thing from the New York Mets before committing to them for the long haul.
"I only wanted to make sure the organization had a commitment to winning," said Wright, the six-time All-Star third baseman and the franchise leader in hits.
Wright got assurances in October when he was visited in his hometown of Norfolk, Va., by Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. After a round of golf and a late lunch, Wright was convinced he wanted to stay in New York.
Wright made the commitment official Wednesday when he signed an eight-year, $138 million contract extension that runs through the 2020 season. That is the richest contract in Mets history, surpassing left-hander Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5 million contract that expires after next season.
"I started out as a 19-year-old after getting drafted and I've considered the Mets' family part of my extended family ever since," Wright said during a press conference at baseball's Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort.
"I'm so excited about this and I can't thank the Mets enough for the commitment they've made to me for the last nine seasons and the next eight. It's been a pleasure to play for the Mets and I'm looking forward for more good times to come."
Wright had reason to wonder if the Mets were going to experience good times anytime soon. The franchise has had four fourth-place finishes in the National League East and been hamstrung financially because owner Fred Wilpon reportedly lost $700 million in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
However, Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon moved to ease those fears by meeting with Wright in Miami while New York was visiting the Marlins.
"David had read what people were writing and wondering if we were going to sell the team," Wilpon said. "I assured him we weren't and that we were committed to making sure the Mets will be competitive year in and year out again."
After the meeting with Alderson a month later, Wright called his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, and delivered a simple message.
"I informed my guys that we needed to get this done," Wright said. "After I heard the conviction and plan, I was all in."
In addition to his 1,426 hits, the 29-year-old Wright is also the Mets' leader with 322 doubles and 2,398 total bases. He also has won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.
Wright, a first-round draft pick in 2001, is a career .301 hitter with 204 home runs, 818 RBI and 166 stolen bases in 1,262 games over nine seasons. He ranks third in Mets history in homers behind Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220).
Wright hit .306 last season with 21 homers and 93 RBI in 156 games.
"Signing David is a historic day for the franchise and an important step in securing a winning future for this team and our fans," Alderson said.