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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
'Common ground' with R.A.; Ludwick redux

By Adam Rubin

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Mets insider late Tuesday night echoed the comments from R.A. Dickey's agent earlier in the day, that trading the knuckleballer would not be a shocker.

Still, the team insider reiterated what multiple people with Mets ties told ESPNNewYork.com before the winter meetings began: The Mets will look to be overwhelmed in a trade proposal for Dickey or another starting pitcher. Otherwise, they will take their projected 2013 rotation to spring training intact.

The source went on to say there is "common ground" toward reaching an extension deal with Dickey.

• Ryan Ludwick reportedly will return to the Cincinnati Reds for two years, $14 million.

Ludwick was on the Mets' radar, since they desperately need righty-hitting outfield bats. So why did the Mets not go to that level of bidding?

One team insider said that price is too steep for that caliber of player, and it's almost fortunate the Mets do not have money to spend if that's the market price. Another team insider said that was Ludwick's price to remain in Cincinnati and it would have been higher to head to New York.

So where do the Mets go from here for outfield help?

A team insider said piecing together two righty-hitting outfielders from the free-agent market is doable, although the dwindling list includes few names: Scott Hairston, Cody Ross, Jeff Baker, Austin Kearns, Reed Johnson and Matt Diaz among them. The Mets insider added there are trades available for the Mets to accept that would yield similar talent.

• A team official said ESPNNewYork.com's report about the Mets pursuing Cleveland Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano at the winter meetings was inaccurate. The person added that while the Mets have been pursuing Kansas City Royals relievers to no avail over the past year, that is not a recent occurrence.