The neverending cycle of contract negotiations between the New York Mets and RA Dickey continues, but it seems clear to me that the Mets (like most other teams around baseball) have no idea what Dickey's value is. Dickey is a 38-year old knuckleballer coming off of a Cy Young Award winning season, and the Mets have no idea if this is a new beginning for him (since he is a knuckleballer, after all) or if it's his last hurrah.
The Mets reportedly had a contract offer on the table to Dickey for two years and $16 million, an insult given some of the free agent signings this winter. However, the Mets have reportedly moved forward from those initial negotiartions and have upped their offer to two years and $20 million. Dickey's desire is apparently for a two year, $26 million extension in addition to the $5 million he'll make in 2013.
This must be maddening for the Mets and their fans. Because of his age, Dickey isn't the type of player that you want to give a five or six year extension to, and he's also not the type of player worth $15 or $20 million per season. However, he won the Cy Young Award this past season, is the key cog of New York's starting rotation, and signing him (along with the David Wright contract extension) would do a lot to soothe the palates of Mets fans.
Looking at some of the contracts signed this winter, Dickey should be getting paid at least as well as a lot of them. Jeremy Guthrie got three years and $25 million from the Royals. Hiroki Kuroda, just months younger than Dickey, got a one year, $15 million deal despite not having a season in his career as good as Dickey's 2012. Andy Pettitte is getting $12 million in 2013 despite being 40 and making just 12 starts this past season. Kevin Correia somehow got a two year deal worth a total of $10 million. Isn't Dickey worth at least as much as those players? Two years on top of the 2013 option the Mets have already exercised on Dickey seems like a fair enough contract, especially for a club that has a ton of money coming off the books next winter in the form of Frank Francisco, Jason Bay, and Johan Santana. Throwing something like $10 or $12 million at Dickey for each of 2014 and 2015 wouldn't be something that cripples the franchise for years to come, and it would go a long way towards showing that the Mets are at least moving in the right direction as opposed to being…well, the Mets. With New York's youth movement on the mound starting to kick into high gear, having a veteran arm like Dickey to stabilize their starting rotation would be a very good thing for New York.