After New York Mets Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey voiced his displeasure over contract negotiations during the team’s Christmas party, rumors are swirling that the knuckleballer may soon be on his way out of New York.
Dickey, 38, is signed through 2013 at a bargain price of $5 million. But Dickey and the Mets have pursued a two-year contract extension, with the two sides still not in agreement over the cost of the deal.
Dickey and the Mets are closer on money than they were during last week’s Winter Meetings, but the Cy Young winner and New York are still $6 million apart. Dickey wants $26 million after 2013 while the Mets want that number to be closer to $20 million.
During the Mets’ Christmas party on Tuesday, Dickey vented his disappointment over how the negotiations are going. The public comments irked the Mets.
"I feel like we're asking for less than what's fair because that's how it's been for me. There is a surprise sometimes when things don't get done quickly and you already think you're extending the olive branch. At the same time, they have a budget they have to adhere to. I don't know those numbers. And I try not to take it personally," said Dickey at the party, according to the New York Daily News.
The possibility that Dickey will not get a contract extension and the Mets will just hold onto him for 2013 at $5 million is looking unlikely, and the situation is expected to be resolved by the end of the week, according to the New York Post.
The paper identified four teams as likely trading partners with the Mets for Dickey, with the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays as the frontrunners for Dickey’s services.
Even though Dickey’s public comments unnerved the Mets, the organization is still not backing down from its demands of two highly touted prospects in exchange for the Cy Young winner.
In order for the Rangers to get Dickey, Texas would need to give the Mets a package headlined by top prospect Mike Olt, according to the Post. The Mets also need catching help and would want prospect Travis d’Arnaud from the Blue Jays, the paper reported.
The Mets and Rangers are not close to a deal, according to Andy Martino of the Daily News. But that may soon change, according to an executive from a third team not involved in the trade negotiations.
“Keep your eye on Texas. They’re in it to win,” the source said of the World Series contenders.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the team’s initially rumored to covet Dickey, may no longer be in on the Cy Young winner, the Daily News reported. L.A. inked top pitching free agent Zack Greinke to a monstruous six-year, $147 million deal last week.
But it’s not Greinke’s signing that has the Mets crossing off the Dodgers as a likely trading partner. New York is not interested in a Dickey trade package that includes shortstop Dee Gorden and pitching prospect Zach Lee, according to the Daily News.
An executive for an American League team told the Post that he believes New York’s offer for Dickey, an aging knuckleballer, is a fair one.
”It’s a pretty fair offer,” the executive said. “He’s 38, so how far out there are you going to get? And if I’m going to guarantee him that type of money, I want an option for an additional year.”
Even if the Mets and Dickey agree to a deal, a no-trade clause is probably out of the question, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told the Post.
“They’ll give [Dickey] dollars, but not the other stuff,” the source said. “Dickey wants this deal so bad, he’ll probably do it.”