This afternoon at the New York Mets holiday party in Citi Field, R.A. Dickey told reporters he would test free agency after the 2013 season, if he does not sign a contract extension with the club this off-season. Which R.A. said would most likely mean he will not be back in 2014.
“If that’s the decision they feel like is best for the club, and that’s the decision that they make, I feel like it would be unfortunate, because it probably is going to mean I’m not going to be back (in 2014). I’m so close to free agency, and I don’t want any distractions.”
“It’s hard. 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. In the context of the market, you want what you think is fair. I feel like we’re asking for less than what’s fair because that’s how it’s been for me. There is a surprise sometimes when things don’t get done quickly and you already think you’re extending the olive branch. At the same time, they have a budget they have to adhere to. I don’t know those numbers. And I try not to take it personally.”
Those are some pretty strong words from the knuckleballer. I can’t say he is wrong as far as his asking price is concerned. Especially when you look around the league at some of the contracts being handed out to other starters (Zack Grienke signed a 6-year/$147M deal with the Dodgers, Kevin Correa agreed to a 2-year/$10M deal with the Twins, and Dan Haren inked a 1-year/$13M deal with the Nats). I am surprised, however, of the timing of his comments. They come hours after Andy Martino of the Daily News reported the Mets were in the process of increasing its offer to the Cy Young Award winner to approximately three years, $25 million. According to Martino:
“The breakdown: A two-year contract extension at about $10 million per season, in addition to the $5 million already owned to Dickey in 2013. Despite reports to the contrary, Mets sources insisted that the team had not offered that much during last week’s winter meetings.
As the Daily News has been reporting, Dickey has been asking for a two-year extension for approximately $26 million, totaling $31 million over three years.”
I have stated plenty of times that I would like to see the Mets re-sign R.A. and keep the knuckleballer in NY for the next couple of years. That said, I realize that trading Dickey could help fill voids in both the outfield and behind the dish. According to MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone, “the Mets are asking for at least two top prospects, including your team’s best hitting prospect, and maybe a back-up catcher, in any deal for Dickey.” Meanwhile, according to Cerrone:
“People close to the team have told me Dickey started out wanting $40 million guaranteed over the next four years. He’s reduced his demands, and now the Mets believe they can sign him to a contract that pays him his $5 million in 2013, but then $10 million each of the next two years. …I’m now hearing the Mets also are considering an option year for 2016, probably at the same $10 million, which would give Dickey the chance to make $35 million the next four seasons.
In short, the Mets will guarantee $10 million a year (for 2014 and 2015), but Dickey wants at least $13 million; at the same time, teams are only offering one significant prospect for Dickey in trade, and the Mets want two.”
It is obvious Dickey wants to stay in New York. At the same time, it would be irresponsible for the Sandy Alderson and the Metsexcutives to not look at all their options and do what they feel is best for the team; even if that means trading the Cy-Young winner. In the meantime, us fans can continue to debate what we think the club will do — and should do — with Mr. R.A.diculous. And so, I ask you. What will the Mets do with R.A. Dickey? Sign him to an extension, trade him, or let him play out his one-year option?
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