R.A. Dickey was a major bright spot in the Mets starting rotation last season. He won 20 games, struck out 230 batters, while only walking 54, and had a stupendous ERA of 2.73. All of which were career bests for Dickey, and helped earn him his first Cy Young Award.
The 38-year-old knuckleballer seemed to have found his stride last season. When he throws his knuckleball right, the pitch is almost unhittable, but it’s very difficult to control consistently. But the Mets may be skeptical of offering a high-dollar contract to a pitcher that is nearing 40 and relies on a single pitch.
Dickey has previously declared that he would like to remain with the Mets. In a conference call with reporters after winning the Cy Young Award Dickey stated, “I wouldn’t mind finishing my career here. I want to be loyal to an organization that has given me a real opportunity.”
Now it’s time for the Mets organization to be loyal to Dickey.
Dickey is about to enter the last year of his current contract with the New York Mets and is scheduled to make a meager $5 million this coming season—a bargain for a pitcher of his caliber. Though Dickey and the Mets have begun to negotiate a contract extension beyond the 2013 season the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement.
Throughout his three-year stint in a Mets uniform Dickey has had a 39–28 record as well as a 2.95 ERA. He has become a fan favorite with his consistent play as well as his honest and straightforward personality. If the Mets fail to resign Dickey to an extension then they will certainly face a backlash of fan scrutiny.Meanwhile, the Mets and their ownership are currently dealing with uncertain financial times due to the recent Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and the organization may feel as if Dickey’s contract demands are too steep. However, the Mets will be able to cut $25 million from their payroll following the 2013 season when Johan Santana’s contract is up. With the financial strain of Santana’s contract lifted after the coming season, there is no reason why the Mets should fail to resign Dickey.
Chris Hunt is a sports writer who resides in Charlotte, N.C.
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