The Mets saved face yesterday and can start going knuckle to knuckle in a new set of negotiations.

With David Wright — the face of the franchise — agreeing to an eight-year contract worth $138 million that will allow him to finish his career with the Mets, general manager Sandy Alderson can arrive Monday in R.A. Dickey's hometown of Nashville, Tenn., for the winter meetings with visions of knuckleballs dancing in his head.

Dickey and the Mets have discussed a two-year extension, according to sources, that could keep the NL Cy Young Award winner signed through 2015. But concurrently, the Mets continue to gauge his trade value.

Dickey is signed for next year at $5 million. He is believed to be seeking another $25-30 million over two additional years with the Mets' offer closer to $20 million.

Wright's new contract is subject to him passing a physical and ends a process that carried on for several weeks, beginning with Alderson's visit to the third baseman's home in Virginia in October.

The deal will carry Wright, who turns 30 this month, through 2020 and gives the Mets a cornerstone on which to build. Wright is the franchise all-time leader in hits (1,426), RBIs (818) and doubles (322), and has nine consecutive seasons of 10 or more home runs.

"This is a great step forward," manager Terry Collins said. "It shows the organization steps up when they have to. It's great for the Mets and our fans. I had all the confidence in the world it was going to get done before spring training.

"With David not signed, I don't know what the circumstances would have been. But it would have been an uncomfortable feeling for a lot of guys involved, so I just think it's a great move for everybody. Hopefully we get R.A. done and get ourselves ready for the season."