Mets officials and the agents for David Wright have not yet scheduled a meeting or begun formal contract negotiations, but could do so next week, according to people involved in the process.
There have not yet been substantive talks between the team and R.A. Dickey’s representatives either — although in both cases, general manager Sandy Alderson engaged the veterans in informal discussions before the season ended.
In the final days of the season, Alderson vowed an aggressive push to re-sign the two “core players” as quickly as possible. Given the fact that talks have not yet begun, is it still possible that either player could be signed this month?
“Too early to tell,” one Mets source said.
Both Wright and Dickey have one year left on their contracts in the form of club options for 2013, but the Mets are seeking big-picture resolution on both this fall. Alderson has made clear that, whatever the potential risks of a offering a long-term contract to a player — Wright — who will turn 30 next season, he is interested in committing the years and dollars necessary to retain the third baseman, who could command a contract of six or seven years and $120 million or more.
There appears to be more internal debate about Dickey, although Alderson is said by associates to be sincere in his view of the 37-year-old Cy Young candidate as worthy of another multiyear deal. In some corners of the organization, there is concern about the knuckleballer’s age, and the injuries that he was able to pitch through during the past two seasons. Contract talks broke down last season, and if that happens again, Dickey could be shopped to other teams.
But Alderson has already launched his pitch to Wright and Dickey, in conversations that took place in September. Presenting an honest assessment of the team’s ability to contend next year (in summary: Anything can happen, but it will probably take another year before the Mets can finish .500 or better), the GM has assured the players that he expects greater financial flexibility before the 2014 season, and believes that the organization’s young pitchers will be developed by that time.