55 percent chance Dickey is on Mets next season

According to multiple Mets officials, there is essentially a 55 percent chance that R.A. Dickey is on the Mets by Opening Day, Joel Sherman reports in this morning’s New York Post.

Sherman lays out the scenario as the following:

“The Mets have told Dickey what they are willing to do in a contract extension.  They have told teams interested in acquiring Dickey the types of players necessary to obtain him.  Neither the Dickey camp nor another club has yet to go to the level established by the Mets. First one that does wins. If no one blinks, the Mets have … Dickey on a bargain $5 million contract in 2013, from which they can revisit extending him or dealing him at any time.”

Sherman believes the Mets will set aside extending or trading Dickey by Christmas, according to a team source, so they can move on with other plans, knowing Dickey is still signed to a one-year, $5 million deal.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Sandy Alderson is playing this right, especially with so many teams looking for a front-end starting pitcher (specifically the Rangers, Royals and Blue Jays). I’ve been saying it for weeks, others have been saying it for weeks, because it’s clear: The only way the Mets move Dickey is if they’re overwhelmed in a deal. It’s not news, it’s not groundbreaking. It’s obvious, because it’s the only way to play it…

The only reason to rush a decision on Dickey would be to move on other items in limbo, like signing a free-agent bat and reliever, trading for a catcher, and maybe replacing Dickey or Jon Niese if they end up being traded. I’m sure the Mets expected other teams to be more active, I’m sure they hoped Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton and others would have signed by now, thus opening up markets a bit more. That hasn’t happened, so everyone (not just the Mets) are just talking, making lists and sitting in waiting mode…

The thing is, at the very least, the Mets get to bring back a Cy Young Award winner in 2013 making just $5 million. Or, they sign him to an equally reasonable extension, knowing they can revisit contract and trade talks next summer. Or, they trade him now for a young bat, who they project to be more valuable than Dickey will be during the next three years.

There’s really no bad situation here, just less good, and there’s no need to rush it.