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Wright: Mets need 'facelift' after consecutive September collapses

NEW YORK -- With the New York Mets coming off consecutive September collapses, David Wright is ready for a few significant changes.

"You go through two seasons that we've been through the last couple years and you're going to need a little bit of a facelift," Wright said Wednesday. "There's 30 teams out there that can use pitching, and obviously we're one of them."

That's why the All-Star third baseman is prepared to do whatever he can to help this winter.

Make a recruiting call? Sure thing.

Show a free agent around town? Say when.

"I live here most of the offseason, so if the organization wants me to be a tour guide or make a phone call, I'll be more than happy to do that," Wright said at his Hard Rock Cafe charity event in Times Square.

The Mets led the NL East by a season-high 3½ games with 17 to play, only to go 7-10 down the stretch as the Philadelphia Phillies charged past them on the way to a World Series championship. New York was knocked out of playoff contention with a home loss to the Florida Marlins on the final day of the season for the second straight year.

In 2007, the Mets were up seven games with 17 remaining before finishing 5-12 in one of baseball's biggest meltdowns.

An ineffective bullpen was largely to blame for this year's flop, and All-Star closer Billy Wagner is expected to miss all of next season following elbow ligament replacement surgery.

So the Mets are extremely interested in acquiring an elite closer. Francisco Rodriguez is a free agent after setting a major league record with 62 saves for the Los Angeles Angels.

"I think the numbers speak for themselves. But he's a guy that can throw two or three pitches in any count," said Wright, who hit a tying single off K-Rod with two outs in the ninth inning on June 18.

New York went on to win that game in 10 innings, giving manager Jerry Manuel his first victory after taking over when Willie Randolph was fired. Still, Wright has plenty of respect for Rodriguez.

"Obviously, he knows how to win. He's been one of the most dominant closers in the game. So a guy like that, you can't say enough good things about," Wright said.

Another option could be left-hander Brian Fuentes, a three-time All-Star who had 30 saves and a 2.73 ERA with the Colorado Rockies this season.

"I think Fuentes is right up there with the same caliber," Wright said. "You've got a guy that's got overpowering stuff and two or three plus pitches as well. And I think that's why they're as highly touted as they are, because they're not a one-pitch pitcher. They've got two or three different pitches they can get you out with."

Wright anticipates aggressive general manager Omar Minaya will make a major move, as he did last winter for Johan Santana.

"Being in a big market, you always expect that. And the way the seasons ended the last couple years you expect that," Wright said. "He's always making phone calls. I can vouch for that because I'm at dinner with him sometimes where his phone's ringing off the hook. So it's something where he goes out there, he's extremely active and he's going to bring us some pretty good players I'm sure.

"I'm very interested in what's going on, not only with us but with other teams," he added. "I've always been a huge fan of high-character players. I love a player that puts winning before everything else. I'd take a guy that maybe has a little bit less talent, but a guy that has a desire to win."