NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Mets reportedly aren’t budging in their trade demands for NL Cy Young Award-winner R.A. Dickey.
But when it comes to negotiations to extend the knuckleballer, in seems one side may have acquiesced — even if just a bit.
The Mets and Dickey have made “modest progress” in talks, according to the New York Daily News. The 38-year-old “might already have reduced his price” from a desired two-year, $26 million deal, the Daily News reported.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said during baseball’s Winter Meetings that he’d need a “difference-maker” in return for Dickey. The Amazin’s “made it clear” to the Texas Rangers that highly-touted prospect Mike Olt alone won’t seal the deal, the Daily News reported.
The Mets and COO Jeff Wilpon have maintained that Dickey could return without a new contract on his $5 million option.
“So far he’s asking for more than we’re willing to commit,” Wilpon told WFAN’s Mike Francesa last week. “And we’re not offering as much as he’s willing to accept. Somewhere in between there’s a deal to be done. We’d love to have him back.”
Wilpon also said the team’s budget was expanded after extending David Wright, giving Alderson “some flexibility.”
The Rangers lost out this weekend on top free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke, who reportedly agreed to join the Dodgers on a six-year, $147 million contract. The Royals, also linked to R.A., traded youngster Wil Myers to Tampa Bay on Sunday in a prospect-rich package for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis, according to WFAN and CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman.
“We’re not bluffing when we say we’ll keep him,” a Mets source told the Daily News. “We need the right package.”
Appearing last week on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Dickey reiterated his preference to stay in New York. But he also said he understood Alderson has to do what’s best for the team: “I’m hoping to be here, man, I love it here. Sandy Alderson’s got a job to do. He’s paid to make the Mets better. I’ve got to try to be as professional as I can.”
Dickey was brilliant for New York in 2012, going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 230 strikeouts. He walked just 54 hitters in 233 2/3 innings pitched.
It was also reported that Dickey will suit up as an elf for the Mets’ annual holiday party on Tuesday.
A good sign? It’s hard to imagine the Mets trading away one of Santa’s helpers. So you can bet he’ll remain in Queens — for at least one more day.
Mets fans — who exactly would you want in exchange for Dickey? Be heard in the comments below…