New stories developed surrounding the long-term futures of both David Wright and R.A. Dickey. In regards to the Mets’ franchise third baseman, Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog shed some light on the progress in the negotiations, whereas the future in Queens for our favorite knuckleballer is still very up in the air.
Cerrone reported he’s hearing Wright’s representatives are asking for 7-years/$130 million, whereas the Mets are currently coming to the table with 6-years/$110 million. Combine Wright not being a free agent this winter and being under team control for another year with his strong desire to finish his career with the Mets, and Cerrone feels that the two sides will eventually find a common ground in negotiations and agree on a deal.
I also think a deal is imminent; over the course of a week, we heard the talks progress from being preliminary to getting some years and dollar amounts on the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if a deal is done within the next week or so, finally allowing Alderson to focus on what he should be doing with R.A. Dickey. We’ve said it here plenty of times, but locking up Wright for his career means much more than having him man third base for the rest of the decade; making him a lifelong Met is also a public relations move, but it will give New York something they’ve never had before; a player that not only came up through their farm system, but decided to stay with the only organization he knew throughout his career, willing to go through the bad times to get to the good times because he truly enjoys playing in New York and playing for the Mets. This kind of ballplayer comes through an organization once a generation, and instead of cutting ties like they did with the likes of Tom Seaver and Darryl Strawberry.
There has never been one second this off-season where I didn’t think David Wright would agree to an extension. This situation is different from last year because before Jose Reyes signed with the Marlins, I just couldn’t picture him with another uniform on, It just felt weird. At the same time, I had a feeling we had seen the last of him when he bunted for a base hit on the last day of 2011 to ensure he won the batting title. When it comes to David, there is no other team that fits him; he’s a New York Met through and through, and he knows it.
On the other hand, it looks like the future of R.A. Dickey is still foggy, as there are plenty of scenarios that have him being sent out of town via trade, or signing an extension. One thing that’s for sure is the knuckler wants to stay in New York and finish his career with the Mets. Cerrone shared his thoughts on this situation as well and mentioned Alderson needs to consider what’s best for the organization long-term and whether it would help the team to either trade Dickey now, or run the risk of dealing him in a year or two when his value is lower.
After hearing his desire to stay in Queens, I immediately threw out those 5-year/$40 million contract demands out of my mind. That might have not be the smartest thing for me to do, but I think it’s more realistic that he would be OK with something within the 2-year/$20 million range if it meant staying in the Orange and Blue.
Last week at the GM Meetings, Alderson mentioned the possibility of trading either Jonathon Niese or Dillon Gee, without being asked about it by a reporter. So, those scenarios are definitely on his mind. If I had to make a prediction about how this situation will play out, it will depend on which player will bring back more return in a trade. The Mets need a catcher and an outfielder, and it’s rumored that’s the asking price for Dickey. When it comes to Gee, even though he has a clean bill of health, is still coming off a serious injury, so I don’t think he’d bring back two MLB-ready players at those positions.
Dickey is coming off a Cy Young-caliber season and his value is as high as it will ever be, but he is 38-years-old. Knuckleballers have pitched into their mid-40s, but anything can happen, especially since Dickey is unlike any other knuckler we’ve ever seen. As for Niese, his ceiling is much higher than Dickey’s; he’s coming off his best overall season at the young age of 26, can only get better, and is under contract at a bargain for the next four years. I think Alderson will be able to get more talent by trading Niese instead of Dickey, so I actually think R.A. has a good chance of surviving this off-season and staying with the Mets. Time will tell.
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