Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
I keep hearing from people in baseball who say the Mets can lock up R.A. Dickey for the next three years at around $25 million. However, they haven’t pulled the trigger, so I assume this means they’re still listening to offers for trades from other teams.
However, the offers have been underwhelming, according to reports, so I bet they’re leaning toward keeping him. And, I hear the two sides are considering a meeting in Nashville next week, with all key parties present, at which point this could hopefully reach a conclusion, assuming any last minute efforts to trade him fall short.
This is why I still believe Jon Niese is significantly more likely to get traded next week than anyone else on the roster, which is something I’ve been saying for nearly a year. I think they’ll do it if he can deliver a legit, major-league bat, like a Justin Upton or a Wil Myers. However, the Mets won’t move Niese if the offers continue to be weak.
Teams with interest in Niese are also talking with free-agent Zack Greinke and communicating with the Red Sox about Jon Lester and the Rays about James Shields, and probably other young pitchers. It’s an educated guess, but I assume the Royals, D-Backs, Blue Jays and Angels all have interest in Niese, considering reports linking them to similar targets.
Basically, I’ve been told Sandy Alderson is essentially playing this like Billy Beane handled Gio Gonzalez last winter, and he’ll only pull the trigger if the market comes to him. He isn’t going to chase it and make a deal just to make a deal… but, moving Niese is clearly an option and something being considered, as it should be. His big problem seems to be the Rays, who are also desperately looking to acquire a similar young bat, but they have more arms to trade.
So, if it’s a buyer’s market, which it sounds like it is, I hope the Mets keep Niese and keep Dickey. I’d love to have Upton, and especially Myers. The Mets need a legit bat. But, if that can’t happen, I’d rather they spend new money on low-cost, random bats and see what sticks than move a valuable arm (like Dickey or Niese) to get young hitters who may not help for another two or three years. I’m all for planning for the future, but the Mets also need to be better now… not just tomorrow.