Man alive, how things can change in the span of a couple weeks. Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog shared some of the latest rumors he’s hearing about the extension talks between the Mets and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (or lack thereof), as well as his thoughts on the situation.
Cerrone has a feeling the front office hasn’t started meaningful contract talks with the potential NL Cy Young winner just yet, and based off of the conversations he’s had with people close to the situation, there is only a 50% chance he even signs one. Dickey is due to make $5 million in 2013 thanks to a team option in his current contract, and rumors have been going around the league he will be searching for an extension in the range of what Oliver Perezreceived from the Mets a few years back (three-years/$36 million). Cerrone bumps that number up to $40 million, which is becoming too rich for New York to invest in a 37-year-old pitcher.
It’s reported that Alderson would be much more comfortable agreeing to a two-year deal worth about half of that, with an option built in. Again, there has not been any official reports because we haven’t heard of concrete talks starting the process, but there are quite a few that feel this will not be enough to entice the knuckleballer to stick around after 2013. So, that begs to ask the question as to if and when the Mets should look into trading Dickey to get significant pieces in return to improve the current roster.
I, like most fans, don’t know Dickey personally, but have grown to love watching him pitch and appreciate the type of person he is, especially after reading his book. According to what Terry Collins has said throughout the season, he’s been a team-first player, and thanks to his current contract, now has more financial freedom than he ever did in the other 13 years in his professional career. He’s found a home with the Mets, so the optimists in the room are saying there’s no way he’d want to leave the place where he’s finally been able to find success.
However, Dickey has expressed his desire to win, which is apparent in all professional athletes, but as a 37-year-old, one can imagine that desire is greater than ever. We’ve heard news reports surface about how the front office is wary about signing him to an extension because he’s not your everyday knuckleballer; he was a conventional pitcher for the majority of his career, which had the normal wear and tear on his arm, and he throws the pitch harder than anyone we’ve ever seen, leading them to wonder if he will stay effective into his 40s, which is common amongst knucklers.
There are a lot of vantage points to use when looking at this situation. With huge numbers being talked about for David Wright, it seems unfair to not give Dickey his due because of his stellar season, but they’re drastically different players at incredibly different points in their careers. There is more value in holding onto Wright long-term than it is to do the same for Dickey. He’s an awesome pitcher and even better in the clubhouse, but if he’s not willing to take a two-year deal in whatever range Alderson projects as reasonable, then he should be traded.
On MetsBlog, there was a debate going on in the comments section as to whether they should sign and trade him versus solely picking up his option and doing the same. If the two sides can’t agree on an extension, they should pick up his option and shop him aggressively this winter. Waiting until next year’s trade deadline won’t do any good, not only in the public relations game, but Dickey’s value and what he could bring back to the Mets won’t get any higher than what it is right now, especially for the price he’ll be paid.
Every player wants to have their services paid for accordingly, and Dickey is no different. However, if he’s truly a team-first player, he’ll realize why he won’t be able to get a three- or four-year contract from New York, or anywhere else. David Ortiz is a great example, who is in the midst of contract talks with the Red Sox; he’s aware he won’t be able to get a long-term deal because he’s now 36-years-old. However, he’ll settle for a two-year deal to have some security, while being sensitive to what the Boston front office is thinking. The same should hold for Dickey; at 37, he can’t expect a handsome and long-term extension, just like the Mets can’t count on him repeating his 2012 performance. Both sides need to compromise, and I think two years at $10 million a season with an option is more than reasonable if that’s what the offer ends up being. So, it will be up to Dickey to decide whether he wants to stay with the Amazins, or try to get the deal he’s rumored to want somewhere else after he gets dealt.
Do you think Dickey will sign an extension this winter or be traded?