NEW YORK -- Mets COO Jeff Wilpon reiterated general manager Sandy Alderson's call for patience on Wednesday, saying that extension talks with third baseman David Wright are not necessarily imminent.
"He's under contract for this year," Wilpon said of Wright. "We have an option for next year. There's no gun to anybody's head. So let it just play out, and at the right time Sandy and I will discuss it, and it will move on."
A day earlier, Alderson said that he planned to speak to Wright's agent at some point this season. But the Mets hold a $16 million option on Wright's contract for the 2013 season, meaning there is no rush for the team to negotiate with its star third baseman.
"David's very special. He's very special to me personally, to the fan base, to the organization as a whole, the community," Wilpon said following a news conference to announce Johan Santana's donation to the non-profit Tuesday's Children. "He does plenty of these events as well and gives a lot back, so he is very special.
"Give it time. Let it play out, and we'll hopefully have a good conclusion."
Wilpon acknowledged that negotiations should be financially easier for the Mets in the wake of their Madoff settlement. He also lauded Alderson and his staff for the club's hot start, tied for second in the NL East through 50 games.
"Certainly, we're happy," Wilpon said. "It's not unexpected that we thought we'd be in it. I know nobody else thought we'd be in it, but listening to Sandy and the baseball guys, they thought we would have a competitive team. And that's what they're showing."
Mets place Cedeno on DL; recall Valdespin
NEW YORK -- One day after placing middle infielder Justin Turner on the disabled list, the Mets sent Ronny Cedeno to the DL on Wednesday with a strained left calf. The team recalled Jordany Valdespin from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Cedeno on the active roster.
Cedeno, who has not played since Saturday, tested his calf prior to Wednesday's game against the Phillies, but could not prove himself healthy enough to avoid his second DL stint of the season. With starting shortstop Ruben Tejada still recovering from a strained right quad, Cedeno had been receiving daily playing time, batting .231 with one home run.
After watching Cedeno test his leg, Mets manager Terry Collins classified the shortstop's condition as "OK. Not great." The manager then added, "I'm not sure OK is going to play."
Though Tejada may be nearing a return from the DL, the Mets must proceed in the interim with a mix of Omar Quintanilla and Valdespin at short. The bulk of those at-bats may go to Quintanilla, who endeared himself to Collins with a three-hit performance in his Mets debut Tuesday. But Valdespin was in the midst of a 7-for-20 stretch at Buffalo prior to his callup, knocking in seven runs over his last six games.
Overall, Valdespin was hitting .279 with four home runs at Buffalo, splitting his time amongst shortstop, second base and center field. Because of the injuries to Tejada, Cedeno and Turner, this is Valdespin's third stint with the Mets in less than two months.
Mets, Santana donate to Tuesday's Children
NEW YORK -- The non-profit Tuesday's Children announced Wednesday that it will use a $20,000 donation from Johan Santana and the Mets to expand and enhance services and programs for Spanish-speaking members of the 9/11 community, including the families of victims and first responders.
The Mets matched Santana's personal gift of $10,000, which he presented through the Johan Santana foundation.
"We help kids in my country," Santana said of his foundation, which was founded to support melanoma research and the Polideportivo Tovar Project in Tovar, Venezuela. "We felt it was important also to do something here in New York in the community, especially for the Spanish community. It is very important. It is a pleasure."
Tuesday's Children currently serves approximately 100 Spanish-speaking families who lost loved ones on 9/11 and an additional 35 Spanish-speaking families of rescue and recovery workers, promoting healing and recovery by "strengthening family resilience, providing individual coping and life management skills and creating community through programs, mental health support and family engagement opportunities."
With donations from Santana and the Mets Foundation, the non-profit plans to increase its Spanish-speaking registration to 250 families within a year.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he has not yet considered who to send out when catcher Josh Thole returns from the disabled list, likely Friday after missing more than three weeks with a concussion. But Collins did say that backup Rob Johnson has played well enough to merit consideration over Mike Nickeas, who broke camp as Thole's backup but is batting .148 in 24 games. Johnson is hitting .321 over his first 10 games.
Collins said he will wait until after the weekend to decide whether to give Jeremy Hefner another turn in the rotation. Hefner seemed to help his cause by logging a quality start Tuesday against the Phillies, but Collins wants to see how Miguel Batista fares in Wednesday's rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo before making a decision.
The New York Giants' entire 2012 draft class spent time on the field prior to Wednesday's game, including first-round running back David Wilson of Virginia Tech. Wilson and his new teammates greeted the Mets during batting practice and posed for a photo with Wright, a rabid Virginia Tech football fan.
MLB announced Wednesday that it will host a free, one-day umpire camp on Sunday, June 3 at 9:30 a.m. ET at MCU Park, home of the Mets' Class A Brooklyn affiliate. A group of umpiring executives and former MLB umpires will be on hand to provide lessons and instruction to those in attendance.
MLB Network will broadcast Thursday's Triple-A Buffalo game live at 10:30 a.m. Rehabbing starter Chris Young is expected to pitch for the Mets, with Thole behind the plate.