Matthew Cerrone, Lead WriterHere’s what I learned this week, after talking to lots of people around the Mets and around baseball…
The Mets would like to trade R.A. Dickey or Jon Niese for a young, promising, impact bat to put in the outfield; they’d also like to trade minor leaguers for a young, right-handed hitting catcher with power; and they’d like to sign a veteran, reliable, free agent outfielder to a short-term contract.
According to people familiar with the situation, Sandy Alderson will move Niese to get the young hitter, but he would prefer to move Dickey instead. In either case, and this is important, if a logical, impact trade doesn’t present itself, Alderson is more than willing to give Dickey a two-year extension, keep Niese and move forward in just the free agent market.
Based on what I’m hearing, I’d say Alderson can spend close to $15 million on new acquisitions, so the above alternatives seem totally feasible. However, they’re strictly a short-term, back-up plan. I believe Alderson would much rather trade for talent with bigger upside that can be with the organization for years to come.
The Rangers, Blue Jays and Royals seem to be Alderson’s best options for that type of young hitter.
The Rangers prefer Dickey. And, according to John Harper of the Daily News, they will trade top hitting prospect Mike Olt to get him, but only if they first lose out on free-agent Zack Greinke.
The Royals and Blue Jays are more interested in Niese, but they have more options and are offering more complicated trades.
Simply put, my best guess is that if Greinke signs with the Dodgers, there is a decent chance Dickey gets sent to Texas for a deal including Olt. However, if Greinke signs in Texas, I’d bet Dickey and Niese stay put, and Alderson instead makes short-term bets in the free agent market.