Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: December 5, 3:02 PM ET
Trade wouldn't surprise R.A. Dickey
By Adam Rubin
R.A. Dickey's agent said talks with New York Mets officials have been cordial, but a trade involving the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner would not be surprising.
Agent Bo McKinnis and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson have met during the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. The Mets also have met with eight teams, sources told ESPN.com, involving potential trades for the knuckleballer.
Dickey is signed for 2013 at $5 million, but Alderson has expressed an interest in either locking up Dickey for multiple additional years or trading him this offseason.
"It's hard to gauge," McKinnis told ESPNNewYork.com. "We have enough of a difference of opinion that if R.A. does get traded, I can't say I would be surprised. I'm not saying that's our first choice, but if it happens, I'm not going to be surprised.
"There will be no hard feelings with it, either. Certainly, if it were to happen, R.A. would like to go to a winning, successful club. But it's just part of the business."
McKinnis noted talks may have been slowed by the Mets trying to lock up All-Star third baseman David Wright. A baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com that Wright has passed the physical related to a new eight-year, $138 million contract and will be at the winter meetings Wednesday, along with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, for a formal news conference.
"Sandy and I have had good talks," McKinnis said. "And he's let it be known that they have interest in R.A. being with the Mets long term. And we've let it be known that R.A. has interest in being with the Mets long term. If there's a difference of opinion on the contract, now that's just something for us to continue to talk about.
"It's kind of been a slow process, but that may be a product of Mr. Wright's deal this past week. I know that had to occupy their time significantly. But there has not been anything confrontational between Sandy and myself. And I feel as though he's been very forthright on their side. And we have on ours."
McKinnis acknowledged he is basically on the same page in terms of number of years for an extension with the Mets, and that the issue is the dollars attached to those years. Sources tell ESPNNewYork.com that Dickey only seeks two additional years on top of the existing 2013 commitment.
"As we've spoken of number of years, I think we're both in a general area," McKinnis said. "We've talked about various proposals and different structures and there's multiple [years] that I think we both could be happy with. That's definitely not the issue. It would definitely go back to the actual dollars."
Asked if the gap with Dickey's agent can be bridged, Alderson said: "I think that remains to be seen."
Still, Alderson added, the sides were not at an impasse.
"I don't think so," he said. "At this point I don't think we've reached the point where there is some possible compromise. But time will tell."
If the Mets were to find an acceptable trading partner, McKinnis said Dickey would be open to signing an extension as part of the trade with the new club. That could increase the haul the Mets could receive in a swap. It also could make things messy if the tentative deal pending an extension were to leak out before it was consummated.
"He would be receptive to doing something additional with another club," McKinnis said.
That said, McKinnis noted Dickey's affinity is for New York.
"He has loved his time there. He has loved being with the Mets," McKinnis said. "He enjoys Terry Collins and the whole crew. R.A.'s repeated comment has been, 'I want to be part of the solution. I want to be there when the Mets win.'
"And that's been a very sincere comment every time he has said it. That being said, if him being part of the solution means he's traded, well, then so be it."
McKinnis believes that Dickey, 38, has his best days ahead of him.
"I heard Phil Niekro say that he thinks R.A. has another gear," McKinnis said. "He thinks there's more in there and that we're going to see something even better than this year. Whether that's realistic or not, I don't know. I do know from the day he started throwing the knuckleball in 2005 forward, it's just been a gradual incline. It's just been up, up, up. Everything has been good.
"In '05 and '06 we saw the inconsistency that Tim Wakefield experienced with the Pirates. We saw some greatness that would fool you into thinking he was extra great. But then we saw some low lows that made you think, 'Hey, this guy shouldn't be on the team.' Steadily that's narrowed out and it's just all been good."
As for the tenor of his talks with the Mets, McKinnis added: "Sandy and I are having no problems. Our talks have been good and we've had no issues. It's just a matter of finding that happy place. Like I said, R.A. wants to be with the Mets. But if it ends up being somewhere else, we're big boys. We understand."