R.A. Dickey Frustrated by Extension Talks; Sandy Alderson Changes His Tune


R.A. Dickey was working the Mets holiday party with Ike Davis and John Franco yesterday at Citi Field, but some of the comments he made didn’t exactly put the organization in the Christmas spirit. The knuckler was asked by reporters about the status of his current contract negotiations and as always, he was forthwright and honest, yet respectful when making his comments.

He said the two sides are still far a part in negotiations, hours after a report surfaced New York offered Dickey a two-year/$20 million extension, although he’s rumored to be looking for $26 million over that same time frame. Here’s some of what the 2012 NL Cy Young winner had to say:

"“When people say it’s business, it’s not personal, well that just means it’s not personal for them. I’m hoping it ends up in a good place, but also in the back of your mind you think it may not. That’s sad.”"

The entire winter, Dickey has said he understands this is a business and Sandy Alderson has to do his best to make the 2013 Mets better now and in the future, but he also doesn’t want to be disrespected. R.A.’s first preference is still to stay in Flushing and he desperately wants a contract extension done before Opening Day. If that doesn’t happen, he stated he will likely leave via free agency. However, the Mets said afterward they’re not happy with the comments made at the holiday party.

Dec 5, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright addresses the media at a press conference during the Major League Baseball winter meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t blame Dickey for being frustrated, and it’s crazy that the Mets publicly said they’re not happy with what he said yesterday. He’s clearly getting low-balled by the front office, and it’s even more clear that they don’t want to pay him for what he’s worth. I know he’s 38-years-old and everything could crash and burn next season, but it’s not like he’s asking for $50 million. Out of all the pitchers who have signed contracts so far this winter, Dickey has out-pitched them all, and needs to be compensated appropriately. Maybe, if the Mets actually gave Dickey the respect he deserves in these negotiations and didn’t try to short-change him, he wouldn’t have made these comments.

Year-by-year details of David Wright‘s new eight-year contract were released, and Adam Rubin broke it down for us. Next year, Wright will be making $11 million, but $3 million will be deferred until after the life of his contract. From 2014-2018, the third baseman will earn $20 million per season, deferring $2.5 million per year, bringing the total amount of deferred money to $15.5 million. His salary drops to $15 million in 2019, then $12 million in 2020. Wright will get a suite on road trips, and has a number of incentives in place if he wins any MVPs, gets selected to All-Star games, or wins any other awards (Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron). He’ll also be donating 1% of each year’s salary to Mets charity.

A three-team trade went down last night between the Reds, Diamondbacks, and Indians, but it didn’t include Asdrubal Cabrera or Justin Upton. Arizona has acquired the shorstop they wanted in Didi Gregorius, as well as Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp, while Cleveland receives Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw. Cincinnati sneaks in and gets Jason Donald and the player they were most interested in, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Yup, that’s another outfielder the Mets could have gone after that off the market. Now that Arizona has the shortstop they were looking to acquire all winter via trade, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be trading away Justin Upton, which undoubtedly makes the Rangers upset.

While Dickey was commenting about his frustration in contract negotiations at the holiday party, Sandy Alderson was also there, and he didn’t have anything to say that Mets fans wanted to hear, either. Way back in August, Alderson said more than once that they need an “infusion of players, productive players.” Now, he’s changed his tune. Due to the new contract with Wright and the release of Jason Bay, there is about $20 million to spend this off-season, but Matthew Cerrone reports Sandy isn’t getting pressured by ownership to spend now (which could hurt the long-term plan), and instead of getting these wholesale changes, the roster in 2013 will be looking similar to what it did in 2012. Cerrone does a great job listing all the frustrations Met fans have had to deal with so far this winter, whether it be trading Niese or Dickey, trying to get Cody Ross to lower his contract demands, or targeting Miguel Olivo to play catcher, of all people.

Honestly, I couldn’t be more furious to hear about this. Just when we thought we were going to see action and were promised changes, pretty much nothing happens. Alderson could be bluffing, but for right now, this is absurd. I hope he didn’t promise the same to David Wright for 2013…

More on this issue later today here at Rising Apple.