I’m going to be blunt about this, as it pains me to even write it, but the New York Mets need to trade R.A. Dickey.
R.A. was a stud for the Mets in 2012. His 20 wins, 2.73 ERA, and league leading 230 strikeouts not only made him the ace of the franchise, but also put his name atop the list of Cy Young contenders.
Though he didn’t become a household name until this year, Dickey had pretty good numbers in 2010 and 2011 for the Mets as well. Definitely better than his 19-22 records shows, he had a 3.06 ERA over both seasons with 238 strikeouts.
The Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson, made it clear that signing Dickey long term was a goal of the franchise, but here we are in late October and contract negotiations haven’t even begun yet. They are still talking about when to even start the process.
It makes me wonder which side, the Mets or R.A., is taking its time.
Maybe the Mets are pondering what to do, which is what they should be doing. Next year the one (and only) thing they do have is starting pitching. Between Johan Santana, Jonathan Niese, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Dillion Gee, they have a good starting rotation.
What they don’t have is an outfield.
As much as Mets fans love R.A., and would love to see him return next season, they have to think about what is best for the team long term. The Mets need three legitimate outfielders. They are not in a position to use pretty much anyone they have been. The constant rotation of Jason Bay, Andres Torres, Mike Baxter, Jordany Valdespin and Scot Hairston is not cutting it.
So, while Dickey’s stock is the highest it’s ever going to be, the Mets need to exchange him for at least one outfielder and a couple of prospects.
Dickey is still under the control of the Mets, as they could pick up his option for the 2013 season for $5 million, and then he would be a free agent after that. If the Mets don’t sign him long term, they will most definitely lose him to free agency after next season anyway. Then they would gain nothing.
The Mets, and their fans, need to come to the realization that they cannot win with the team they have. This is something that has to be done.