Discussion

Direction of Mets defined by Dickey

Updated: December 3, 2012, 9:40 AM ET
By Buster Olney

NASHVILLE -- There will be a lot of baseball talk at the Opryland Hotel here over the next few days, but some officials already are predicting that because of the enormity of the place, a lot of the communication between teams will continue to be through text messages, phone calls and emails. "It takes 20 minutes to get where you need to get to, if you don't get lost -- and you will get lost," said one assistant GM.

The sprawl presents something of a hardship even for a generation of executives who expect instant wireless response. But the teams will find a way to make decisions, to sign players, and for some clubs, it will be about a commitment to direction.

The Nationals are in win-now mode, and rightly so, which is why they pushed aggressively for Gio Gonzalez last year, and why they are talking with the Tampa Bay Rays about pitching. At a time in the sport when a lot of teams cling to their prospects, GM Mike Rizzo has demonstrated a willingness to trade prospects and young players for veterans who make the Nats better now, which is the right mindset if you want someone like a James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson or, yes, a David Price.

The Dodgers are committed to winning, and aren't quite so worried about the cost. The Padres, a really dangerous team right now, have quietly rebuilt their farm system and are prepared to invest in players who will take them to the next level, which is why they have been trolling around for a big-fish starting pitcher.

Those teams we know. But for others, the direction isn't yet determined. And over the next three days, we should learn more about the commitment to direction for two teams:

1. The Mets: Look, in a perfect world, a team that resides in the biggest market should be one of the big spenders. Working out an extension with a Cy Young Award winning pitcher, R.A. Dickey, should theoretically be a no-brainer, in the same way that the Yankees didn't flinch from giving pricey one-year deals to Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.

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