Mets Harder On Dickey Than We Thought

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, the Mets have just increased their offer to R.A. Dickey to two years, $10M. Wait, what?

Per Martino:

Mets sources told the Daily News late Monday that the team, while still refusing to rule out a trade, was in the process of increasing its offer to the Cy Young Award winner to approximately three years, $25 million.

The breakdown: A two-year contract extension at about $10 million per season, in addition to the $5 million already owned to Dickey in 2013. Despite reports to the contrary, Mets sources insisted that the team had not offered that much during last week’s winter meetings.

Originally, we were led to believe that a 2-year, $20M extension was already on the table, but those figures turn out to be an increase. The Mets’ first offer was two years, $16M, which works out to $21M over three years when you factor in R.A.’s 2013 salary.

My oh my. No wonder there hasn’t been progress in these negotiations.

So in other words, the Mets do not believe R.A. Dickey is as valuable as Joe Blanton. Or they believe R.A., being poor all his life and at an advancing age, will cave in and take the money and all the security that goes with it. Or they’d prefer to trade R.A., and made a pittance of an offer to keep up appearances.

Personally, I’m stunned that the Mets would come to the table with such an insulting offer. Basically, what they’re telling R.A. is “yeah, you had a great year, but we’re pretty sure you can’t do it again — and we’re also pretty sure you don’t have the stones to prove it in 2013 without the security of an extension.”

Again, it’s all about perspective. I’d be very happy to receive a two-year, $16M extension from my employer, but this is fantasyland MLB, where they pay in Monopoly money. And considering the cost of pitching these days — not even good pitching, just pitching in general — I find the Mets’ offers thus far to be an insult, and truly question whether they’re sincere in their efforts to keep R.A. Dickey in a Mets uniform.

Your thoughts?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Ian December 11, 2012 at 10:46 am
    Typical Mets. Insulting. Arrogant. And wrong. He’s performed well for two years running. Knuckleball pitchers (Phil Niekro comes to mind) have pitched well into their forties. There is no reason why R.A. Dickey can’t do the same. He’s in good shape. Intelligent, and most of all, is of stellar character. To treat R.A. Dickey this way makes one wonder why, with this ownership, anyone would choose to be Mets fan.
  2. Walnutz15 December 11, 2012 at 11:28 am
    Even as someone who ultimately wants to deal Dickey for the best possible package, I just have tolaugh at this point.

    This is what they’ve been taking so long to “offer”?

    No wonder why so many guys get turned off by the Mets. Hope Wright feels good about what their pitch was….to “turn things around”.

  3. derek December 11, 2012 at 11:35 am
    Mets will try and holdout for 2 mlb ready prospects in a trade….or see if dickey blinks and takes the security.

    agents push alot of deals in the backround. i wonder how much RA agent is pushing for him to sign so he gets paid. something to think about.

    • MikeT December 11, 2012 at 11:48 am
      This is my point from a few days ago. Dickey has almost no leverage. He wants a new deal, and the Mets want the best possible package for him. He will sign for ~12-13 mil/year for two years or 10/year for two with a 3rd year option.

      Mets have all the leverage here. What gets leaked to the media is not always representative of what reality is, and this current offer is simply what the Mets are negotiating at for the moment. It is a negotiation which means this could and very well might change in time. I think this is completely overblown.

      • derek December 11, 2012 at 11:54 am
        this is similiar to the standoff the yanks had with jeter…they held all the cards in his negotiations…RA doesnt have upper hand here…timing is everything. if RA had this past season next yr..well then he would hold the advantage and got a monster deal…but he doesnt. so it will go down to who blinks first.
        • DaveSchneck December 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm
          Derek is spot on. RA has no leverage except pubic perception. Yes, the Mets look cheap and insulting (what else is new?), but it is Dec. 11 and Alderson needs to run the course to be sure no one will provide the 2 top picks that he requires. When that happens, the Mets will either quickly bridge the gap with RA or not. If they don’t at that point, then those saying they are cheap and insulting will be spot on. If they do, then it’s just the process running its course. RA may be cracking a little bit publicly, but I’m sure he is man enough to let the this play out…there are much bigger problems one can face.
        • Jake December 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm
          He has no leverage? I disagree. Jeter was coming off a number of declining years and was looking for a long term contract. Dickey is the reigning Cy Young award winner and coming off a fantastic 2-3 year stretch. He is one year away from becoming a FA and is really looking for a 2 year deal.

          Even if he bombs this year, he will be able to get a nice 1 year deal somewhere. Pettite just got 1yr/$12m, look around at the contracts being handed out. He will do ok. Of course if he pitches well…

          The end will be the Mets enjoying next year at a bargain salary and likely getting nothing in return. Another popular player spit on. Classic Mets.

    • MikeT December 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm
      Didn’t we go through all of this with David Wright? Everyone thought the Mets were low balling him and there was all this talk about him being frustrated with negotiations. Just like that, things will work themselves out. If the Mets are going to come up from 2/20 then they will do it when they are good and ready. If they are going to trade Dickey then they will have gotten something better than Olt and Martin because that offer is apparently on the table and Alderson (rightly) think that is not enough.
  4. Mike B December 11, 2012 at 11:42 am
    The contract is light but I dont blame the Mets for not wanting to commit a lot of money to RA, its too risky. I would give him maybe 30 million for 3 years. to give a 40 year old a 20 per year contract is nuts I dont care what kind of pitch he throws.
    • Izzy December 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm
      RA is risky!!!! Really???? tell me Mike, tell me one deal in major league sports that isn’t risky. If the Wilpons and Alderson want to take no more risks then they need to get jobs in state government. Do you think they got it written in blood from God himself that Wright will shine through 2020!
      • Mike B December 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm
        Yes RA is a risk, he is almost 40, came into last season as a 41-50 career picher. The year before he was 8-13 with a monster 11-9 year before that. To assume this guy is going to repeat last year for the next 3 years is being just a little positive. Thank god the Giants didnt sign andres torres to a 10 year 200 million contract off his 2010 campain so we can have him in center field.
        • Bill December 12, 2012 at 1:15 am
          He has put up a great ERA 3 years running. The fact that his wins totals have wildly fluctuated just goes to how worthless the stat is in the first place.
  5. Joe December 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm
    The part about him playing an elf is funny.
  6. hart December 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm
    I wouldn’t be so quick to gloss over your 3rd explanation, that the intent is to trade Dickey rather than make him an offer he’s likely to accept. And so any preliminary “offer” is really just buying the team time while they work the trade market. I actually hope that’s the case, because the team has an opportunity here to actually come out on the right side of one of these trades for once.
    • Izzy December 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm
      Alderson apparently is negotiating with other teams like its July and the other GM is in a panic to make the plyoff run a success. Well, nobody panics in December. Except for the failure of a GM (Alderson) demanding ridiculous returns for Dickey, everybody else plays to try to make deals that make both sides win. The market for teams wanting an ace is vanishing with each and every deal that is made. In a year from now you all will be thanking him for the sandwich pick he might get for Dickey as a FA.
  7. NormE December 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm
    Nothing the Mets do is surprising and low-balling R.A. fits that description. He deserves a better offer.
    I agree with Hart. If R.A. signs this lowball offer he is more attractive to another team. If he doesn’t sign then the Mets can trade him and let someone else work out a deal. In any case the intent is to trade him.
    I believe the Mets have to fill too many holes and trading Dickey makes sense if you can fill two holes in the deal. On the other hand, if they can’t accomplish the above, Dickey should be kept because he is a positive representative for a team that has too many negative p.r. notes.
  8. Askabry December 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    I realize this is harsh business, but Dickey’s value in the marketplace goes down if the Mets have him signed to a two year, $26MM extension.

    Alderson’s job – as even RA pointed out – is to make the Mets a better team. He’s certainly not going to get two elite prospects by lowering the value of Dickey to prospective employers.

    The Mets raising the offer to 2/20 indicates to me that they have realized no one is going to make the offer they wanted. I am fairly certain RA Dickey will be paid what he wants for 2014/2015 or darned close to it.

    • Joe Janish December 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm
      Actually, doesn’t his value go UP if he’s locked up for three years and “only” $30-31M?

      Three years of control at $10M per year for a pitcher coming off a Cy Young Award would seem to be a tremendous bargain.

  9. argonbunnies December 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    If the Mets have decided that they don’t want to pay Dickey what he’s worth, and would rather trade him or let him leave after 2013, then that’s simply a baseball decision that I disagree with.

    But if that’s their position and they’ve been lying to him about it in an attempt to get him to accept half of what he’s worth (thus probably making him even more tradeable), then that’s outright scumbaggery.

    You can rest assured that if R.A. had a more aggressive agent, the tabloids would be filled with stories about how the Mets had spit in Dickey’s face and he would never play for this organization again and was requesting a trade. (Remember the Boras theories on Manny’s exit from Boston?)

  10. Dan B December 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm
    In theory, the Met’s strategy of low balling until either Dickey accepts or a team offers two top prospects is sound since it is only mid December. There is time to up the offer if they have to. That said, it scares me that nothing good has been done yet and until we have a good trade or Dickey signed, we are still on the path towards the Mets losing him to free agency or trading him for a lesser package. I still don’t believe the Mets will ever trade him for minor leagers, no matter how good, if it means 95+ losses next year. Dickey has no options? Yeah, he could play out the season knowing he has gotten better for each of the last four years. Then the Mets have to offer at least $13 million/year or risk losing the draft pick. By the way, I think Dickey is too smart to sign a low ball offer w/out some no trade clause.
    • argonbunnies December 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm
      “In theory, the Met’s strategy of low balling until either Dickey accepts or a team offers two top prospects is sound since it is only mid December.”

      For an adversarial negotiation in a vacuum, I agree. However, in the weird world of baseball, lowballing an employee pretty much guarantees that employee will find a job elsewhere. And because everyone knows this, a lowball offer is generally perceived as “we don’t want you”. This usually seems to burn bridges.

      Dickey thought he was being more than fair, asking for 2 years at #2-#3 starter money, without asking for a change to his 2013 pittance. If I did that, and my boss played hardball, I’d be done. I’d raise my demands, just in case the shoe winds up on the other foot.

      • DaveSchneck December 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm
        Scumbaggery is an interesting word and quite ftting for Jeffy. Despite Alderson giving the image of an adult running the team, it is hard to think JW isn’t involved in some capacity. That said, even though RA seems ruffled, and once again the Mets find themselves in a poorly handled negotiation, another few million with an option will get this done and everyone will kiss and make up. If the Mets botch this one, and going into 2013 with RA unextended is a botch, Alderson should be run out of town, even if RA pitches to a 5.00 ERA in 2013.
        • argonbunnies December 12, 2012 at 2:27 am
          I dunno, man. Would you kiss and make up in that situation? Dickey clearly feels he picked a number that was more than fair — when you do that, you’re not looking to fight for every penny, and you’re assuming the other side isn’t either. Then when the other side does fight for every penny… well, wouldn’t you feel like you got suckered? The team eventually accepting your low number doesn’t feel so good anymore.
        • DaveSchneck December 12, 2012 at 9:26 am
          I kjnow. Unfortunately, this has the aroma of Jeffy all over it, and that aroma seems to always linger.
  11. Steven December 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm
    In all fairness, we do not know what the truth is. It may be that RA was first asking for $45 over three years, and the Mets didn’t make any real offer at the outset so as to get him to lower it.. Dickey is clearly worth the a $26 million two year extension, but we have to appreciate that there is a method to get to the right number, keeping in mind that each $1 million in additional payroll means less money everywhere else and the need for an additional 30,000 in attendance. this is all negotiations
    • argonbunnies December 12, 2012 at 2:30 am
      If Dickey asked for $45 mil and then told reporters, “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,” that would make him a pretty epic liar.

      I don’t think R.A. Dickey is an epic liar.

  12. gmwannabees December 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm
    The whole Dickey situation is tricksy. Alderson offering less than Perceived market value, could work for and against one hand by offering 10 nil for 2 years, he could be telling potential buyers he is not worth 2 prospects. On the other hand If Dickey signs to that deal and then has a great first half with Mets, that would truly be selling high. His value would then peak.
  13. Evan December 12, 2012 at 3:59 am
    They need to sign Dickey now. 3 years and with Harvey and Wheeler on the horizon, you need somebody to eat innings! And also need a good leader for a rotation who after next season, when Johan is gone, will be very young and vounerable.

    I wouldn’t worry about the obvious needs, OF, RP and C… The most important thing is too improve your club anyway you can. Right now in free agency, the Mets are as attractive as the Astros… David Wright was an important chip but not enticing anyone to come to Queens. You need more solid players!

    Here are the trades I’d make…

    1. It looks like the Indians are in complete re build mode. I would get Asdrubal Cabrera right now to play along side David Wright. Sending Tejada and Familia should get it done. Tejada, a young promising SS could be a loss but remember the Mets just drafted Guccini last year who can take over for Cabrera in a few years. Familia a power arm would be a loss but Cabrera is a rare talent and ready now, proven all star and would be a great sign for the fans who just lost their beloved Reyes last year to Miami.

    2. This could be a long shot but worth a look. It seems in Texas, Kinsler is upset. Needing to move positions for the young 2B who will likely start this year. It also seems the Rangers are getting younger and could be willing to move Kinsler who turns 30 soon if he is so unhappy. They may need Dickey in this trade but what about offering NIese, Murphy and Ike. I know that sounds like a lot and Rangers would send cash with Kinsler but it would be a perfect fit for both squads.


    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    3B David Wright
    2B Ian Kinsler
    1B Lucas Duda
    C Josh Thole

    SP Johan Santana
    SP R.A. Dickey
    SP Dillon Gee
    SP Matt Harvey
    SP Zach Wheeler

    With moves like this, go back to FA and see what OF, RP or C won’t sign with you. With all the money differed from Wright and signing Dickey, this year would still only be 5m, over pay a bit for one year deals. Make some moves Mets!

  14. Kanehl December 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm
    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have the answer to Jon Stewart’s question: “How will the Mets screw this up?”