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Coleman: Mets Reaching Critical Point In Wright, Dickey Negotiations

David Wright (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) and R.A. Dickey (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

David Wright (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images) and R.A. Dickey (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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By Ed Coleman
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It’s now a little over 7 weeks since baseball’s regular season ended – and both David Wright and R.A. Dickey remain unsigned by the Mets. Their extensions have been picked up for next year, but longer-term deals have not been reached with either. Discussions? Yes. Progress made? A little. But next week will be a crucial one regarding the two players because it leads up to the start of the Winter Meetings, December 3rd in Nashville, and the Mets will need a clearer picture of where they stand in order to better formulate their plans to move forward.

Mets C.O.O. Jeff Wilpon recently stated that there are 3 options in play. The team’s preference is to sign both Wright and Dickey to extensions. Secondly, if that doesn’t happen, they could keep them on their current one-year extensions and have them play out the season. Finally, if neither of those come to fruition, they could trade one or both of them – now during the off-season or at the trading deadline next July.

Kansas City recently signed RHP Jeremy Guthrie to a 3 year $25 million contract ($5M-$11M-$9M), which could be a problem for the Mets in the Dickey negotiations. The Mets were looking to sign their Cy Young award winner for less money than Guthrie received over the length of his contract – more than the per-year figure ($8.3M) but less than the total ($25M), something on the order of a 2-year extension at $20-22 million, which would effectively double Dickey’s salary.

Guthrie split time between Colorado and the Royals last year. He was terrible with the Rockies (3-9 with an ERA over 6.00), but much better with Kansas City, pitching to a 3.16 ERA and finishing very strong. Guthrie is very durable – he’s pitched at least 175 innings for 6 straight seasons, and 200 or better from 2009-11. And he’s also very consistent with a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. But Guthrie is also 22 games under .500 lifetime (55-77) with a 4.28 ERA, has allowed more hits than innings pitched in his career, and is also homer-prone, having surrendered 30 last year and averaging 27 long balls given up over the last 6 seasons. If Guthrie is collecting $25 million, how do you pay Mr. Cy 20-game winner Young less than that. That’s a question I’d be exploring if I was Dickey’s agent.

The Wright negotiations have not progressed very far, which makes the next 10 days quite critical if the Mets are to retain their All-Star 3B beyond the 2013 season. They should – whether they will, we should find out shortly.

Previously, I mentioned that the Mets should consider Jonny Gomes if they were not going to re-sign Scott Hairston, who just finished a superb season. I thought they should bring back Hairston, but he might have earned a lucrative multi-year deal off his fine 2012 performance, and thusly priced himself out of the Mets’ picture. I wasn’t in love with Gomes, but his clubhouse demeanor and production against lefties (like Hairston’s) trumped some of his faults (strikeouts). Last season, Gomes had a .974 OPS vs. lefties, and hit 11 of his 18 HR against lefties. But alas, the Red Sox saw Gomes as a fit and just signed him to a 2-year deal. Will Hairston be back as a Met? Kinda doubt it, but we’ll see. Stay tuned.

C U soon
Eddie C.

What do you think will be the outcome of the Wright, Dickey negotiations? Share your thoughts below.