Latest on R.A. Dickey: Mets increase offer, could accelerate trade talks

R.A. Dickey road polaroidThe Mets have fielded six or seven calls from teams that would like to meet at the Winter Meetings and discuss trading for R.A. Dickey, reports CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

While both Dickey and the Mets have attempted to workout a contract extension, Heyman says, Sandy Alderson has been given clearance to pursue trading Dickey.

“There have been trade talks starting about a month ago, but they may accelerate now, provided Dickey doesn’t lower his demands soon. The Mets will seek a catcher and outfield help in any trade,” Heyman explains.

Heyman says the Royals have shown interest in Dickey, but would prefer to trade a younger package of prospects to acquire him as opposed to dealing top outfield prospect Wil Myers.

Myers, who will be 22 on Opening Day, hit a combined .314 with a .600 SLG, 37 home runs and 109 RBI and 140 strikeouts between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha in 2012. He has not yet played in the Major Leagues.

In a post to his blog for ESPN, Buster Olney says the Mets have increased their offer to R.A. Dickey, although it is not known if it’s close to what Dickey is seeking.

According to Olney, the Mets were “stunned” by the $12 million contract Andy Pettitte and the Yankees agreed to earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Dickey told reporters the Mets had made a formal offer and he had countered, but he had not heard back from the team as of yet at that point.

If a new extension is not signed by the Winter Meetings, Dickey said he intended to personally sit in on negotiations. However, as of yesterday, there were so such plans a meeting in Nashville, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal said on Twitter.

Yesterday, MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone said people in baseball believe Dickey can be locked up for the next three years for around $25 million, “The Mets haven’t pulled the trigger, so I assume this means they’re still listening to offers for trades from other teams.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Dec. 1, 6:55 pm: Initially, I heard Dickey was seeking at least a three- or four-year extension, but I never got clarity on if that includes next year’s option or not. WFAN’s Mike Francesa reported hearing something similar, as well. However, there have also been plenty of reports suggesting Dickey would accept a two-year extension. So, who knows where this is at…

In regards to trades, it’s very simple, the Mets are open to trading Dickey or Jon Niese to get a young, major-league, right-handed ready bat, either to play in the outfield or behind the plate. If this can happen, one of the two will be moved. If it can’t, they won’t, and instead they’ll look to sign a mid-tier free agent to fill the void in the outfield, and likely pick up a catcher that was recently non-tendered. The other day I speculated that the Royals, D-Backs, Blue Jays and Angels all have interest in Niese, and maybe Dickey, considering reports linking them to similar targets. But, it seems to be a buyer’s market, because there are free agents and other young pitchers out there available in trade.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Dec. 1, 6:55 pm: If the Mets can get Myers for Dickey, the unemotional side of me says it’s a no-brainer. Andy Martino of the Daily News recently said the Mets are seeking a “monster package” in return for Dickey. A package around Myers fits the profile of such a package. But I understand why the Royals might be hesitant to deal a 22-year-old top prospect for a 38-year-old pitcher, even though that pitcher is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. That’s not meant to be a knock on Dickey – he has been tremendous, but it’s simple baseball sense for the Royals to not trade what could be a tremendous part of their long-term future for an aging pitcher. If they would consider dealing Myers, I would expect the Royals to be seeking young (and quality) insurance along with Dickey if they saw the Mets as a match.

Dec. 1, 12:02 pm: It makes sense for the Mets to spend the early part of the meetings trying to gauge Dickey’s trade value before re-engaging in talks. They will reportedly not trade Dickey if they sign him to an extension, and so they should see how the market develops before they try and lock him up. A lot could be determined by where Zack Greinke signs, assuming he gets a deal done this week. The teams who lose out on the Greinke sweepstakes could conceivably turn to the Mets for one of their pitchers, creating a strong market which didn’t necessarily exist before.