It's easy to forget that R.A. Dickey is still under contract for the 2013 season. That's because there have been so many rumors tied to him and so much discussion about the Mets working out a new deal for the knuckleballer. However, New York does not necessarily need to worry about a new contract right now if they want him to pitch for them in 2013. They already have Dickey under contract.
Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' COO, has said that a new deal is not necessary for New York to keep Dickey. And he's right. However, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York points out, the Mets met with at least eight teams about Dickey's future. Despite this, Wilpon didn't mention a trade as an option for Dickey.
"We're in the process now," Wilpon said. "It's a negotiation. They want more than we're willing to give right now. We want to do it for less than they want to accept right now. Somewhere in between, there's probably a deal to be done. If not, he'll be a great bargain at $5 million playing out next season for us."The reason the rumors surrounding Dickey have hit a fever pitch is not because he's too expensive. The rumors are swirling because there may not be a better time for the Mets to trade him. His value is likely at the highest point it ever will be right now. Dickey is coming off a 2012 Cy Young Award season. He went 20-6 and had a 2.73 ERA. It's not probably that he will be able to duplicate that season.
Dickey is also coming off minor surgery. He had surgery after the season to repair a torn abdominal muscle. He admitted that the pain was starting to catch up to him as the season wore on. While the surgery was minor and the repaired tear is not expected to have any lingering affects, this will not be confirmed until Dickey starts pitching next season.
If New York does not extend Dickey's contract, they may be costing themselves in the long-term. However, they have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the right time or waiting for the right deal. Because Wilpon is right. They don't HAVE to do anything right now.