How to handle R.A Dickey

Matthew Cerrone , Lead Writer

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t believe the Mets and RA Dickey have started substantive talks about a contract extension. In fact, based on what I’m hearing, I’d say there is a 50 percent chance Dickey signs an extension at all…

The issue is vast, as I understand, with Dickey expected to seek at least a three-year, $40 million contract. However, the Mets are thinking more like two years and an option and significantly less money, according to previous reports.

Initially, the talking point was: despite being 37 years old, Dickey can probably pitch well in to his 40s because he’s a knuckleballer. But, lately, I’m hearing people close to the team point out that, unlike Tim Wakefield, Dickey has been pitching more than 20 years, and he also throws significantly harder than any knuckleballer before him, so he has more mileage on his body than people think.

This type of talk, coupled with that gap in perceived value, coupled with how he’d be valued on the trade market (as a unique (hopefully) Cy Young winner making just $5.5 million next year) has me feeling like he could easily be traded this winter.

Sure, the Mets could simply pick up his option, keep him, see how next season is going and then trade him next summer (after the hype of the All Star game). However, his trade value will never be as high as it is now. At the very least, he pitches as he has, but next summer he’ll be a year older and with just a few months left on his contract. Right now, I’m told by experts in the game to assume the Mets can get two top position prospects for Dickey, especially from a team like the Brewers or A’s.

Dickey is awesome, and I hate the thought of trading him, but that type of deal is tempting when you consider the team’s need for offense, their pipeline, and the quality of options on the next few free agent markets.