THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING R.A. DICKEY
R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young Award last night, and emphatically reiterated his desire to remain with the Mets. That’s a good sign, and I have the feeling Dickey won’t hold out for the last dollar.
He realizes the Mets gave him what probably was his last opportunity and there is a sense of loyalty. On the flip side, he realizes this will be his last chance at a pay-day.
“I love the Mets,” Dickey said last night. “And that hasn’t changed from the first opportunity I got against the Washington Nationals in 2010. There’s a part of me that really wants to be loyal to that.”
It is imperative the Mets re-sign Dickey for three reasons: 1) what he gives them on the field, 2) what he gives the organization and means to the fan base off the field, and 3) the perception it gives other potential free agents.
It is clear what he gives the team on and off the field, but signing him sends the significant message to other free agents that the Mets aren’t fooling around and their rebuilding is in a significant stage.
Dickey wants to be a part of that process.
“I think [Sandy Alderson] has a great plan for the future of the New York Mets,” Dickey said. “I’m sure it’s going to require a little vision, I’m sure it’s going to require a lot of hard work. But anything worth having – that’s what’s required. I’m on board, and I want to be part of the solution here.”
The feeling is mutual with Dickey and the public. New York gives him opportunities he otherwise wouldn’t have in other markets. That works in the Mets’ favor.
“I love the fan base, my family loves being a New York Met, being in New York and all the stuff it has to offer outside of baseball,” he said. “It’s given me the platform to do things that far transcend the game. Whether it’s pouring myself into a charity I am really passionate about, or writing a memoir that I feel like needed to be written. All these things, I don’t know if I could’ve done them if it weren’t for New York and being a New York Met.
“I am aware of that, and I am appreciative of that. Because of that, I like being a Met, and I wouldn’t mind finishing my career as a Met.”
In a reality check mentioned for the benefit of the Wilpons, “wouldn’t mind finishing my career as a Met,” is not the same thing as willing to sign at any price.
Dickey will cost some significant money, and the Mets must decide if he’s worth it. That decision would be a no-brainer if Dickey had previous seasons like 2012, but he hasn’t. The knuckleball puts less strain on the arm, so he theoretically will be able to pitch into his 40′s. But, they must also gamble he isn’t a one-year wonder.
Thoughts from Joe D.
John, I totally disagree with you on Dickey being a one year wonder. In three seasons since 2010 when Omar Minaya signed him off the scrap heap, Dickey has posted ERAs of 2.84, 3.28 and 2.73. His incredible walk rates have never budged, and he has a 1.15 WHIP in 93 starts for the Mets.
I have always believed that R.A. Dickey should be kept, and that David Wright should be the one who is dealt because at the numbers it will take to sign him it could end up being one of the worst contracts in team history – more than the Bay, Perez, Castillo and K-Rod deals COMBINED. Do we really want to go there? Wright will be 31 when the new extension kicks in.
That said, I have contended all along that Alderson will sign Wright and trade Dickey. And everything I’ve heard and read since taking that stance when the season ended, is pointing exactly in that direction.
Dickey would be the perfect mentor for guys like Wheeler and Harvey. They both could use someone who can teach them the importance of throwing strikes and not allowing so many bases on balls. Dickey wouldn’t just be the staff ace, it would be like having a second pitching coach on the team.