R.A. Dickey was one of the few bright spots for the New York Mets in the 2012 MLB season.
The knuckleballer was the best pitcher in the National League, winning 20 games and finishing the year with a 2.73 earned-run average and 230 strikeouts. He became the first Met to win the Cy Young Award since Dwight Gooden in 1985.
Dickey is signed to a one-year contract worth $5 million in 2013. New York is trying to work out an extension with the pitcher, but could be looking to trade him if the two sides can’t come to an agreement. The Mets front office and Dickey seem to be very far apart, and other teams have already inquired about acquiring the 38-year-old.
General manager Sandy Alderson reportedly has spoken with Boston Red Sox officials about a possible deal. Alderson met with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on Monday at the winter meetings, according to ESPN. The two discussed a trade involving outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and shortstop Xander Boegart.
Boston might be unwilling to trade both of the prospects that were talked about. Despite Dickey’s success last season, there are still plenty of question marks surrounding his future. He’s unlike any pitcher that the league has seen, bouncing around the league as a mediocre pitcher for much of his career, and then having three consecutive strong years in his late 30’s.
If the Mets decide to part with Dickey, they’ll be looking for young hitters in return. With Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese and, potentially, Zack Wheeler set to be in the rotation next season, New York has plenty of young, talented arms. Even after re-signing David Wright, the Mets could desperately use some outfield and infield help.
While keeping Dickey could give the Mets a very good rotation, another NL team is considering adding the right-hander to, potentially, the best staff in all of baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly contacted New York about Dickey, in an attempt to form a dominant rotation.
With Clayton Kershaw already the team’s No.1 starter, the Dodgers are considering adding two more frontline starters. They are trying to sign free agent Zack Greinke to a long-term contract. If Los Angeles can put together a rotation of Kershaw, Dickey and Greinke, they would have three Cy Young Award winners on the team.
L.A. might not have the pieces that New York is looking for. The Mets would prefer to acquire outfield and catcher prospects. The Dodgers aren’t deep at those positions in the minor leagues, and would probably have to offer up a package surrounding pitcher Zach Lee, according to Ken Gurnick of mlb.com.
New York has time to weigh its options. They are still negotiating with Dickey, and some reports say that, as many as eight teams have contacted the Mets about trading for the veteran.