One of the hot-button topics at the Winter Meetings in Nashville this week is what are the Mets going to do with reigning NL Cy Young award-winner R.A. Dickey?

Do the Mets shop him at his highest value while trying to land a bumper crop of prospects?

Or do the Mets negotiate a reasonable two-year deal and re-sign Dickey?

From the rumors and vibes coming out of Nashville, it seems the Mets are trying to go with option A, although they are having a difficult time finding a partner.

No doubt it’s a double-edge sword the Mets find themselves in.

On the one hand, you want to reward Dickey for the amazing season he just had and give the fans reason to come out to the ballpark while being committed to being a better team in 2013.

On the other hand you can’t be short-sighted, and if a Dickey trade can make you a better and more sustainable team for the long-term, then you have to strike while the iron is hot and deal him for prospects while you have the chance.

Sandy Alderson has stated that he wants difference-makers in any potential deal that involves Dickey. Apparently, there have been no teams that have stepped to the plate offering any “difference-makers”. If no legitimate high-end prospects are offered in return for R.A. Dickey, the plan then is to offer Dickey a reasonable two-year contract. Alderson has also stated that there is an option C and that is to let Dickey go into 2013 season without a new contract, but I just don’t see that as a viable alternative.

What constitutes a difference-maker anyway? Who could the Mets possibly get that could fit that description? The only player who could possibly fit the bill is Royals’ outfield prospect Will Myers. The Royals are hesitant to deal Meyers and it may take a mega-deal to land his services.

Other prospects being tossed around in potential deals include-but not limited to- the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon (with the possibility of moving him to outfield) and Zach Lee, the Rangers’ Leonys Martin and the Blue Jays’ J.P. Arencibia and Anthony Gose.

Those are not scintillating names (although I do like the upside of Martin) and they will not likely whet the whistle of both Mets’ executives and fans alike.

Also playing a factor is if the Mets are shopping Jon Niese and other prospects along the lines of Logan Verrett and Darin Gorski. Even if the Mets sit still with Dickey, they have to upgrade the outfield and possibly catcher either way. If it is through free agency then so be it. But, somehow, someway the Mets need to boost the offense (specifically the outfield) immediately.

Sometimes the most difficult decisions in life are the best decisions. That may be the case here with Dickey and he could very well be writing a new chapter of his book in another city next season. If that is to be, then the Mets better get the ‘difference-maker’ that will make us all happy. If not, re-sign Dickey and sign some free-agent outfielders and hope for the best in 2013.

You know the saying ‘be careful what you ask for’? Well, the Mets better-full well know what they are asking for when it comes to Dickey.

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17 comments on “Should the Mets think short-term or long-term when it comes to R.A. Dickey?

  • TJ

    Myers is not the only difference maker. Every team has one, no doubt. Also, signing Dickey to a 2 year extension is not exactly a short-term move. Based on his last 3 seasons, not just last year, while he may not have another year like 2012, he can reasonably be counted on to be a top 3 pitcher over that span. While this slow pace drives me and many other fans crazy, the best plan is to wait until Grienke gets signed to determine if it is better to sign or trade RA. It is clear they prefer a trade, but the fallback plan is still pretty good.

  • David Groveman

    I would trade Dickey. The hitter free agent market for 2014 looks AWFUL and there will be a couple of pitchers of note. If you move Dickey now to improve the offense, then the Mets can target the playoffs in 2014 and the Championship in 2015.

    BTW… Myers is the only prospect you listed who I would trade Dickey for.

  • Charlie Hangley

    At this point, the Mets should be looking long-term on EVERYTHING…

    PS — It wouldn’t be a sin if R.A. goes into ’13 without a new contract: the Mets can always extend/trade him during the season.

  • Pete

    There are no difference makers out there. Some times the best deals are the ones you don’t make. How can Sandy Alderson say that there is a third option with R.A? Just letting him walk? That’s just asinine. This is New York not Oakland. Hey David Grossman just because the free agent market is awful for hitters in 2014 shouldn’t dictate what the team will do in 2013. Yes stay with the game plan in place and try to show a little more patience. Why trade NIese or Dickey? You start trading your number 2 and 3 starters for outfielders and wind up with no PROVEN STARTERS. Can you name me a solid outfielder who came up through the organization and played at least 5 years for the Mets? Their scouting abilities need to be examined. We seem to be able to draft pitchers but when it comes to the outfield, well…enough said.

    • David Groveman

      Who is David Grossman? Pete, the goal is to improve the offense. It’s hard to see us doing that through the farm too well so the options are trading and free agency. When free agency looks like a bust and you have Dickey at what might be the height of his value, you need to look towards doing something. Just letting Dickey ride his 1 year option likely means another compensation pick (at best) scenario. The rest of your point is more than valid, but Nimmo looks solid for 2016 or later.

  • Name

    Anyone else tired of the RA Dickey and Justin Upton sagas? I am.
    In this era of technology where information spreads so quickly, we are getting constant minute by minute updates of what is happening. I mean, a GM who may pass by another GM and exchange a few words might be picked up by a reporter and might qualify as “news”.

    I actually think our current projeceted OF of Baxter/(Kirk/den Decker)/Duda is better than the 2012 projected OF of Bay/Torres/Duda going into last year(mostly because Bay was so bad).

    • Brian

      Basically, I’m tired of the whole Mets saga period. Short term? What does that even mean with this team. Nieuwenhuis and Duda are awful yet they remain in the outfield equation for 2013. Nothing has happened yet except a 74 win team is weaker today than it was the last day of the season and if they are penciling 38 year old R.A. Dickey for 20 wins and 230 innings in 2013, it is more shortsighted than anything Omar Minaya did in his 5 seasons.

      The Mets should be thinking long term. If they like someone’s prospects for Dickey, jump on them because it is more likely that R.A. falls back to his 2010 or 2011 performance than duplicating 2012. The plan here seems to be hope Matt Harvey develops, hope Zach Wheeler cures his command issues, and pray Brandon Nimmo justifies the reaching the Mets did in drafting him. Oh yeah, and hoping R.A. And David draw more mindless sheep into Citi Field in 2013…

  • Metsense

    Dickey is the CY Young winner, an innings eater and a competitor. A 2 year extension at the qualifying offer rate is more than fair. Dickey should only be traded if the Mets and he can’t agree on a price for an extension. There will be plenty of time for trades when the flood gates open (if they do) with the minor league pitchers. Then the Mets will be dealing from real strength instead of perceived strength.

  • Pete

    So the question is whether or not there is someone of significance out there who is a game changer. If that player exist then you will need to add prospects to even out the trade.But I do understand it’s a starting point. Ii is sad how we as Mets fans have to endure our current owners. I don’t wish any ill will on anyone. To have an owner who is pinching pennies so he can get by is not fair to the fan base. This is New York not Miami. I wonder, if the commissioner had not been as close a friend to Fred Wilpon would he have asked him to sell the team in the best interest of baseball? We would not be having these discussions if the Wilpons had the necessary means to support a major league franchise in the most important television market in baseball? What is going to take for ownership to sell so that we can truly start to see the light at the end of the tunnel? How would a line-up of Hamilton-Wright and Davis look?

  • Dan Stack

    So what do you guys think of Olt? If Grienke signs with the Dodgers, then the Rangers may make a serious push for Dickey.

    • Metsense

      So we trade a Cy Young winner, who should have a potential shelf life of 3 years, for two prospects with 2 years of pro experience. Prospects,from the time they make the majors have a 6 year shelf life before hitting FA, so the team has a potential 3 year gain IF the prospects pan out. The Mets should build their farm from within and hold on to their strengths. If the farm produces starting pitching as promised, the Mets will have plenty of good young arms to trade to obtain bats in the not so distant future.

  • Pete

    Where would you play him? Right field? He’s primarily a first baseman who can play third base and some outfield. Texas would have to add at least one more player. How about Jurickson Profar straight up for Dickey? Texas can afford to give R.A. an extension and the Mets shore up their defense for the next decade up the middle.

    • Brian Joura

      Profar is one of the top young players in baseball – this has no chance of happening.

  • Mike Koehler

    The only way I trade Really Awesome is if we get Myers, D’Arnaud or the like in return.

  • Jeff Albert

    If Greinke goes to the Rangers, Dickey will be back at Citi Field next year.
    If Greinke goes to the Dodgers, Dickey will be headed to Texas with Mike Olt and a player to be named coming over in return.

    • Pete

      Mike Olt ia an average first baseman who can play some third or the outfield.The Mets can do better fill their needs elsewhere.

  • Pete

    Sad but true.The Mets organization is hoping their fan base don’t remove their blindfolds.I keep asking why does Fred Wilpon get a free pass? If he were not friends with the commissioner would he still be the owner of the New York Mets? The Dodgers have owners who can AND are willing to spend money to improve their ball club Why are we talking about pinching pennies when there are so many potential native New York millionaires who would be happy to purchase an investment in their own back yard.

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