Contract Offer to Dickey Has Increased, but So Have Trade Talks

By Matt Musico

As we wait for the Winter Meetings to kick off tomorrow in Nashville, Mets fans are wondering what the latest is on NL Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey. We heard two different viewpoints in one story, as New York reportedly increased their contract extension offer, but they also look to be exploring trade talks more aggressively in the coming days.

Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog has said he believes Dickey could be locked up with a three-year/$25 million deal (including his 2013 option for $5 million), so it shouldn’t be very hard to agree to a deal if they upped their offer again, which was believed to already be in excess of $10 million. Sounds like this latest increase could be due to the one-year/$12 million deal Andy Pettitte received from the Yankees. However, before the Mets sit down and officially agree to an extension, Sandy Alderson now has been granted the opportunity to actively pursue trades for Dickey. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that at least six or seven teams have called the Mets inquiring about the knuckler.

August 10, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) points at a teammate during batting practice before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

A few weeks ago, we heard New York is looking for a “monster” package for Dickey, which would include both an outfield bat and catcher that are ready to help the Big League club immediately. Heyman lists a few teams in the market for a front-line starting pitcher, which include the Royals, Blue Jays, Pirates, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers (who want to meet with the Mets to discuss R.A. in  Nashville this week), and Nationals.

It looks as though New York has had the most serious talks with the Royals and Blue Jays, and it’s only prudent of them to explore these options before locking R.A. up. Unless Kansas City GM Dayton Moore changes his tune on the package he’s willing to give up in order to land Dickey, I think the Mets have their best chance of making some a deal with Toronto over the next few days, as we’ve been speculating potential trades between these two sides since they were seen spending time together at the GM Meetings.

The Jays are likely the best trade partner for New York because they’re primed to win right now, and Dickey can help with that in the immediate future. The Royals are trying to build a winner, but don’t want to give up MLB-ready players when they know they’re not as close to playoff contention just yet. With Toronto, the mega-deal they pulled off with the Marlins shows their fans they’re going for it all in 2013, and bringing on the most dominant pitcher in the league from last season could be exactly what they need to solidify their rotation. Due to their current mindset, they may be willing to give up players like catcher J.P. Arencibia and young outfielder Anthony Gose in order to acquire an ace, as Jon Heyman mentioned in his article.

So, it will be an interesting few days to see what the Mets decide to do with their starting pitching. Will they leave Nashville with their current rotation intact and a free agent signing for an outfielder? Will Niese or Dickey be gone to fill the team’s needs through the trade market? This all remains to be seen, but it’s nice to know that the Mets plan on being active in improving the squad for 2013 and beyond.