The Mets have fielded calls from six or seven teams that want to meet to discuss a trade for R.A. Dickey, which should keep Mets people busy at the Winter Meetings that begin Monday in Nashville, Tenn.
The Mets and Dickey have been trying to work out a contract extension for two months, but it appears general manager Sandy Alderson has the go-ahead now to more seriously consider trade alternatives for the team's ace and 2012 National League Cy Young winner. The Mets reportedly increased their contract offer to Dickey recently, but it appears the trade meetings haven't been canceled to this point.
There have been trade talks starting about a month ago, but they may accelerate now, provided Dickey doesn't lower his demands soon. The Mets will seek a catcher and outfield help in any trade.
The Royals are one team to have shown interest, as was reported in this space a couple days ago. The Jays are a team that could match the Mets, as they have young outfielders (Anthony Gose) and a young catcher that may be expendable (J.P. Arencibia). Mets exec J.P. Riciardi, the former Jays GM, knows their system well. The Pirates, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers and Nationals are among teams in the market for a starting pitcher.
The Royals have a top outfield prospect, Wil Myers, but would prefer to trade a package of even younger prospects in a Dickey deal. While Dickey pitched better than almost anyone in 2012 and is under contract for 2013 at a cheap $5 million, he's 38 and relies on a hard knuckleball, so it's not easy to agree on his value. That could be the issue in salary talks, too.
The Mets and Dickey are believed to be talking about a two-year deal, but there is obviously a difference in the dollars. Dickey's unusual career -- he went from 10-year journeyman to solid starter in short order -- makes it hard to pinpoint his worth.