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The Mets believe they can sign R.A. Dickey to a two-year contract extension, worth less than the $36 million paid to Oliver Perez, one Mets source told Andy Martino of the Daily News yesterday.

However, he also writes, "The Mets are also engaged in preliminary conversations with other clubs about trading Dickey," despite citing rival executives at the GM Meetings who say they have not heard of any intense trade talks involving Dickey.

Yesterday, I wrote here, "Insiders at the GM Meetings tell me Dickey will want four years, and probably $50 million after 2013, but the Mets are thinking more like two years and $20 million."

Apparently, WFAN's Mike Francesa made a similar comment later in the day, but said his information was not coming from the Mets.

So, this is weird, because if I'm hearing and Francesa is hearing that Dickey's agent will want a deal that keeps his client in place for the next five years, why does Martino's Mets source believe he will sign just a two-year deal? It suggests to me that the Mets and Dickey's agent clearly have not talked specifics, but also that a two-year pact (to start after 2013) with an option for 2016, could be a place of compromise - since it would guarantee R.A. three seasons and a chance at one more if he pitches well. In either case, it sounds like the two sides will see eye to eye on money, which is good. It's the years that might be an issue.

In regards to the trade market, if the Mets believe R.A. will sign for two years beyond 2013, yet continue to shop him in trade, it says a lot about his trade market and what the Mets might be able to get in return if they move him... otherwise, they'd just sign the extension.

In either case, I believe this is the course of action: First, the team obviously told Dickey they want him beyond next year, which is theoretically true; then, they needed to gauge his value in trade, which they're clearly doing this week; then, they'll probably meet with Dickey and his agent and talk real dollars and years, which I bet starts up next week; and then, if he's only willing to sign for more than they're willing to offer, I expect they'll ramp up talks with teams serious about trading for him - at which point they'll need to make a decision.

[sny-accordion title="Previous updates and info for R.A. Dickey..."]

Nov. 8, 2012: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said the Mets are not showing much interest in signing a new deal with Dickey, and instead are discussing him with possible trade partners.

Nov. 8, 2012:'s Jon Heyman believes the Mets are seeking both a catcher and an outfielder in talks for their ace.

Nov. 8, 2012: The NYP's Joel Sherman says the Mets are beginning to gauge Dickey’s value on the trade market at the GM Meetings and will weigh their findings against keeping him through 2013 and not signing him to an extension. The Mets remain conflicted as to how to deal with Dickey’s contract situation, Sherman concludes.

Nov. 8, 2012: Still, my bet (and best educated guess) is on the Mets trading Dickey this winter (in a deal that gets a catcher), after which I expect them to announce a new contract with Wright.

The Mets are certainly justified in their concerns about Dickey’s abilities over the long term. However, the decision shouldn’t necessarily come down to whether Dickey is injury prone, or his advanced age, or the wear and tear an 80-mph knuckleball will have on his arm as he gets older. Instead, the primary debate should be in determining his value to the Mets, while inside the organization, to the value he might add to the organization in returning talent if he were dealt. Does Dickey’s presence for the next few years makes them better? Does his presence makes the organization healthier? Does his presence help put the team on the quickest path to being successful over the long-term? Or, can they be a better club by trading him to fill other organizational holes, both at the Major and Minor League levels? To me, those are the issues at hand, and the risks associated with a contract extension come into play only if they believe he puts them on the quickest path to contention.

Here are the results from a recent poll to MetsBlog that asked how Mets fans would handle Dickey this winter:


Tags: MetsBlog , Matthew Cerrone
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