Mets offer to Dickey is fair, AL exec tells NYP

R.A. Dickey polaroidYesterday, Andy Martino of the Daily News said the Mets had increased their contract extension offer to R.A. Dickey to two-years and $20 million, while Dickey is seeking $26 million.

“I feel like what we’re asking for is less than what it is fair,” Dickey said at the team’s Holiday Party on Tuesday.

However, an AL executive told Mike Puma of the New York Post, ”It’s a pretty fair offer. He’s 38, so how far out there are you going to get? And if I’m going to guarantee him that type of money, I want an option for an additional year.”

According to Puma, because Dickey is not a free agent, Sandy Alderson’s offer to Dickey should be below market value, knowing the two sides can meet in the middle, the executive said.

“Dickey wants this deal so bad, he’ll probably do it,” he concluded.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Let’s assume trade offers for Dickey continue to fall short, and he’s destine to start Opening Day on the Mets …. in that scenario – as I understand it – Alderson absolutely wants Dickey under contract beyond next year. However, thinking of this in terms of business, leaving emotions out of it, why should Alderson overpay? Dickey isn’t on the open market, so there is no requirement to pay market value. The same was the case with David Wright, by the way. Is that an insult to Dickey? Maybe. But, Dickey is also under no obligation to sign a new contract. If he wants to be paid the market rate, he should put his pen down and test the open market next winter. That’s his right, and if he believes in his ability and demand for services he should absolutely do that…

The thing is, Dickey knows – because teams are still skeptical of his pitch and his age – if he has a weak season in 2013, he’ll again be viewed as a ‘fluke,’ and he’ll be hard pressed to find a long-term deal. He’d essentially be starting from scratch at 39 years old. He wants to ink an extension now, for security, while his value is up and he has momentum, and the Mets believe he’s willing to take a bit less to get a deal done.

Is that fair? Umm, does it matter? Seriously, it’s not about ‘fairness,’ it’s about getting a deal done, which no side is obligated to sign. The team has a goal, Dickey has a goal, eventually the meet in the middle.

Frankly, it’s a typical contract negotiation, which are rarely quick and pretty in New York City. Remember the public relations nightmare that was Derek Jeter and the Yankees? I mean, David Wright actually went public with his disappointment last month, things looked bleak, but now he’s $138 million richer, smiling and praising this team’s future.

These things take time and they’re secretive and they’re almost always awkward at some point in the process, especially if you’re still employed by the people you’re negotiating with, all while dozens of journalists try to report, predict and scrutinize their every moves.

Dickey will either sign a contract he thinks is fair or he won’t. He’s not going to sign something and be mad about it. So, let’s not pretend this is about anything other than money and job security. If a deal is reached, it means both sides met at a place they each viewed as fair, at which point everyone can mop up their tears with dollar bills, get ready for Spring Training and probably never think about this ever again.

That said, the Mets will keep waiting on the trade market before finalizing an offer to Dickey, which I expect to reach a conclusion (one way or the other) by the the end of next week.