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The Mets are overplaying their hand with R.A. Dickey

Dec 6, 2012, 1:59 AM EDT

R.A. Dickey Getty Images

R.A. Dickey was the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner. And yet he’s reportedly willing to accept Ryan Dempster money in a contract extension with the Mets: $13 million per season for two years.

The Mets, however, are not willing to give him Ryan Dempster money, according to the New York Daily News. That’s simply too much. And yet they’re asking teams for two top prospects in return for him in trade talks.

“We’re in the process now,” COO Jeff Wilpon said. “It’s a negotiation. They want more than we’re willing to give right now. We want to do it for less than they want to accept right now. Somewhere in between there’s probably a deal to be done. If not, he’ll be a great bargain at $5 million playing out next season for us.”

Again, the Mets don’t think Dickey is worth Ryan Dempster/Dan Haren money, yet they think another team should be willing to fork over two of their best young talents for him, when they could, you know, just sign Ryan Dempster instead.

At this point, Dickey should really just tell the Mets to keep their money and that he’s going to test the open market. He’d be doing them a big favor by signing a two-year, $26 million extension. If he were a free agent right now, he’d have his pick of three-year, $45 million-$48 million offers, and it hardly be a shock if some team went to $20 million per year. He has a realistic shot of outperforming Zack Greinke over the next three years.

The crazy thing is that Dickey may well be worth Wil Myers from the Royals. He’s not worth the Mets’ request of shortstop Xander Bogaerts and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. from the Red Sox, but he could be worth one of the two and a lesser prospect. The Angels, Dodgers, Orioles, Rangers and Tigers should all be interested, too, especially if he’s still willing to take $13 million per year from his new team. But if the Mets were going to get that return they wanted, it likely would have happened already. They should just extend him and be done with it.

  1. tuberippin - Dec 6, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    For as much of an opportunity as the Mets have afforded him, I would not blame R.A. Dickey whatsoever for taking the $5mil in 2013 and then hitting free agency. The Mets cannot afford to keep low-balling their best players. It looks especially bad when you contrast their decisions regarding players like Reyes, Wright, Dickey, etc. and the decisions they made in signing guys like Jason Bay and Oliver Perez to large deals in past seasons.

    I think we all get that the Mets are under a (self-inflicted) financial strain, but they’re only further shooting themselves in the foot by behaving in such a fashion. Besides, they need all the rotation help they can get.

    And yes, obviously Dickey is an old guy for a pitcher/Cy Young winner, but the knuckleball is a different beast. The fact that he won the NL Cy Young this past season speaks volumes about how much control he has over the pitch.

    I get the feeling that the Mets are doing this with Zach Wheeler’s forthcoming rotation spot in mind.

    • chill1184 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      Jason Bay and Oliver Perez were the results of Omar Minaya’s “thinking” and if he was still in charge Dickey probably would’ve been traded for garbage already. For all we know Alderson could just be trolling everyone and for fuck sake it’s November it’s not like its the middle of March.

  2. jl9830 - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    No way; the Mets are playing this one perfectly. They know signing him to a reasonable extension is an option, but they are waiting for Greinke, and even Sanchez and Lohse, to be taken off the market. The teams that miss out on them will feel the heat and that’s when the best trade offer for Dickey will come. And if it doesn’t? Then you sign him. But the Mets haven’t overplayed this hand. Not even close- they’re playing this perfectly.

    • samu0034 - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:56 AM

      That actually sounds like a pretty darn good strategy. Whether I believe that’s actually the Mets’ motivation seems a little less likely, but either way it could definitely work out in their favor.

    • narrabeen23 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      the problem with the mets is that if you’re going to slow play this until Greinke is signed, then you need to keep quiet. You don’t reveal your asking price for Dickey in a trade until Greinke is signed and you tell Dickey’s camp that you want to discuss an extension but you are currently focused on free agency. Dickey should understand that because guy’s currently under contract shouldn’t be your first priority in the beginning stages of free agency.

      So no. The Mets aren’t playing this one perfectly, what the Mets need to do is shut up (God Forbid)

  3. mrfloydpink - Dec 6, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    I hate it when I overplay my hand with my dickey.

  4. fanofevilempire - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    The Mets HAVE to trade Dickey, they can’t give him30-45 mil. especially when they won’t
    contend with the Nats for a few years.they need a young outfield and a bullpen help.

    the Mets spent ALL the money they have on david w.

    • chill1184 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      Anything original other than parroting Fat Mike?

  5. phillyphreak - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    I think it’s totally crazy to think Dickey would be worth Myers. The Royals would be banking on a 38 year old pitcher, coming off of the best season of his career, repeating that season (and then signing an extension at a reasonable rate, which is possible). Sure he could, and he’s been a good pitcher and knuckleball pitchers are different etc etc but Myers could be a really good player for the Royals. A player that would under team control for not much money for a long time. And if Dickey is worth Myers then that means the Royals see themselves as contenders in the next year or two, which in my opinion, is a little bit of a reach….

    It would make more sense for the Royals to keep Myers and sign a free agent pitcher, maybe Edwin Jackson or something.

  6. stex52 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I’m not sure what’s an overplay here. Dickey is a great pitcher this year and a classy guy, but he will certainly not be there when the Mets are good again. And he is under control for another year. If he is great again, you may pay big. If he loses a step, he is cheaper. If he holds a grudge, then make a qualifying offer and take a draft choice.

    Their strategy (if it really is a strategy) seems OK.

  7. jarathen - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I still cannot believe that there isn’t a package out there built around Bourjos and Conger for Dickey. Seems to me like the right pieces are there to make a trade. The Angels have a spare outfielder or two in Vernon Wells (ugh) and Kole Calhoun, and the Angels do have a bit of an overage in CF with Trout and Bourjos both. Part of Trout’s value is derived from his strong D in center, and shuffling him to left, as is being discussed, blunts that value somewhat. He’ll go to the corner sooner or later, but at 21, let him stick there for a few years.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      I’ve never understoood the “IF Player A (who has signed a very expensive contract and let everyone down) got that much then Player B should get at least that much. THese type of analogies should only work in instances where teams get reasonable value for the dollar spent. Oh and who’s Fat Mike?

  8. mazblast - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    The problem with the Mets’ “strategy” is that Dickey and his agent may in turn say, “OK, you don’t want to negotiate now, so we’re not going to negotiate at all”, and the Mets wind up with a draft pick or nothing at all.

  9. mrchainbluelightning - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Here’s an idea
    The Mets keep Dickey for 3 more seasons
    The Mets don’t make the playoffs in any of those seasons
    Dickey retires

    Let them keep Dickey and allow the above scenario to play out.

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