In a special report for ESPN.com, Dave Cameron from FanGraphs looks at the statistical track record of 14 knuckleball pitchers of the past and explains:
“History suggests that R.A. Dickey should still be a highly effective pitcher in 2014 and probably even beyond that. The Mets should view Dickey as part of their long-term solution, not a short-term asset with an expiration date drawing ever closer. Knucklers age in whatever the opposite of dog years is, and 38 just isn’t all that old for this kind of pitcher. Unless the Mets plan on punting the rest of the decade, they should be able to see a scenario where Dickey helps pitch them into the playoffs. It might not happen next season, but Dickey could easily be part of the next good Mets team. And that should be enough reason to keep him around.”
Last week, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman said the Mets are beginning to gauge Dickey’s value on the trade market and they will weigh their findings against keeping him through 2013 and not signing him to an extension.
The Mets remain conflicted as to how to deal with Dickey’s contract situation, Sherman concluded.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This will be awkward tonight, if he wins. I hope he does. But, as he is standing there accepting the award, it’s hard to think it could also be the last thing he ever does for the Mets. Because, as we know, there are endless rumors that he could very easily end up being traded before the start of next season. It’s so nuts…
The argument for keeping him his clear and Cameron does a terrific job explaining it. Read his work. It’s perfect. However, the argument against keeping Dickey is this: 1) He isn’t your average knuckleball pitcher, he puts stress on his body (by throwing the velocity he does, for as long as he has) that other guys before him never had to deal with, so his 38 years might be different than theirs; and 2) the Mets need better, younger baseball players than they have, and Dickey and his unique style (at just $5 million) coming off a Cy Young award) can get them a good return in trade.
It’s complicated. You know the drill. My cold, business side knows it is best to trade him. But, as a baseball fan that loves watching him pitch, and as a Mets fan who needs something fun to rally around, I will be more than happy to see him sign an extension and stay.
I hate that this will be running in the back of my mind tonight, but such is the business of baseball, I guess.