The Age Factor: Reason Mets Are Reluctant To Sign Dickey, Is Why Teams Are Reluctant To Trade For Him

If GM Sandy Alderson spent as much energy trying to sign R. A. Dickey as he has trying to trade him, the contract would be done by now.

Alderson told reporters in Nashville he’s seeking a “difference maker,” for Dickey, which means a power-hitting outfielder, preferably from the right side. A difference maker, by definition, would mean a proven commodity, as Alderson said he’s seeking immediate help, not somebody the team will “hope” be a player in two or three years.

Alderson is apparently hitting a wall when it comes to asking for other team’s prospects, and he’s viewing this as an exchange of $5-million contracts.Trouble is, where is Alderson going to find such a presence for only $5 million?

Reportedly, the Mets have talked with Boston, Kansas City, Toronto and Arizona, but their asking price is too high in terms of prospects.

Timing is everything, and unfortunately for Dickey his is muddled and mixed. On one hand, he’s coming off a Cy Young Award season. However, the other hand is 38 years old and grips what many in the game still regard as a gimmick pitch.

Dickey has only had one star year, with two decent years prior. As brilliant as he was last season, and for what he brings a team, there’s not a large enough sampling to warrant a monster pay-day. It just won’t happen.

That’s also the reason why the Mets are reluctant to sign him. Giving Dickey $30 million over three years just won’t happen. For as intelligent as Dickey is, he just doesn’t understand that, or like countless before him, won’t accept his position in the market.

It has been reported Dickey could be willing to accept less, but if true, why haven’t the Mets jumped at the opportunity? Answer: They are determined to trade him.

If Dickey were 28, none of this would be an issue. He could take less, prove himself again and get a better deal down the road. Preventing Dickey from doing that is the thought he might not be able to duplicate 2012, that maybe last year was all smoke and mirrors. Dickey might have doubts himself of doing it again, and certainly doing it again with those numbers.

At 28, Dickey could net the “difference maker,” Alderson covets.

“What we’ve tried to say to ourselves is that we have to get back difference makers,” Alderson told reporters. “It doesn’t have to be a catcher. It doesn’t have to be an outfielder. It doesn’t have to be anything. But it has to be a difference maker. Because R.A. is a difference maker.”

If Dickey is a difference maker, and last year he was, then dealing him would leave a huge void, one the Mets would have a difficult time filling.

Dealing Dickey could leave the Mets in a worse position than they are now, especially, if all their projected young pitching doesn’t pan out.

As it is unfolding now, this doesn’t look like a win-win situation for the Mets or Dickey.

About John Delcos 577 Articles
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 30 years, including 18 in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I also covered the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians before that. Today I am a freelance writer and social director for several media outlets and a Senior Editor for Metsmerized Online.