Author’s Note: Please forgive the author if this idea has already been suggested by TRS86, Wanny, or any other colleagues or readers here during the author’s inexcusable recent absence.
R.A. Dickey has a $5 million club option for 2013, and apparently is seeking a 3-year contract, in the neighborhood of $40-something million.
There is no debate that Dickey has been a wonderful presence for this team, on and off the field, for the last three years. Ultimately, he might be viewed as one of Omar Minaya’s finest acquisitions. Clearly, he has given the team infinitely more value than his relatively modest salaries of the last three years have cost the team.
Now, Dickey realizes that the time for his big payday has arrived.
Some say that Dickey has earned this, and he has earned it from the Mets. Many feel that, as a knuckleball pitcher, he has a longer shelf life than most soon-to-be 38 pitchers.
Others insist that his age and long career–as well as the fact that he throws the knuckler harder than his predecessors–argue against the wisdom of a multi-year deal for the bearded Renaissance Man.
In addition, the Mets now always-precarious financial situation also must be taken into consideration, as every deal must be carefully weighed in the new post-Madoff era.
One idea seems to have been given little consideration, and that is the concept of mutually agreeing to tear up the 2013 option, giving R.A. close to what he wants, and seemingly arranging a compromise which both sides might be very happy with. As it is a club option, the Mets can simply decline it right before R.A. signs the new deal.
Offer Dickey 3/$45. Seems like he might be very happy with that. Agree that it starts in 2013. So Dickey immediately receives a huge raise, and at the same time the Mets are on the hook for three years instead of four.
Seems like the Players Association would be fine with this, R.A. would receive a huge raise immediately, the Mets’ risk would be nicely hedged, and the team would keep its ace in place for at least the next three seasons.
Dickey is be an ideal leader for a staff that will be manned over the next couple of years by many young pitchers, in the rotation and the bullpen. In addition, his unique knuckleball throws teams off quite nicely, and beautifully sets off the curve of Niese and the hard stuff thrown by Harvey and soon-to-be Met Wheeler.
The feeling here is that, if acceptable by both sides, this would be a nearly ideal compromise. Dickey might bring back a nice return in prospects, but his age might prevent the return from being what might be hoped for. Unlike David Wright, Dickey will not command a deal of five years or longer; in addition, R.A. is coming off his career year and has had the best stretch of his career as a Met in recent years. It is a lot of money, but for a pitcher who has just achieved what R.A. has, risking it over three years seems very reasonable and a very worthy risk.
This idea makes a lot of sense, in many ways.