This is not news in the sense that something has happened. Nothing has happened yet, actually. The Daily News is reporting that the Mets are considering whether to offer R.A. Dickey multiple years or give the arbitration-eligible pitcher a one-year deal. I’m sure this mulling has been occurring since soon after Alderson was hired. What I think is significant, however, is how a decision not to offer Dickey multiple years might be perceived.
As the article notes, Sandy Alderson and his team are trying to figure out if Dickey’s excellent 2010 was a fluke that demands caution going forward or a breakthrough that demands a multiple-year offer. If they decide it’s the former, I have a suspicion that people may freak out a little bit. Dickey was one of the few bright spots in New York last year, and he became a fan favorite. I wonder if his fans — in the media and at large — would view this through the same kind of anti-sabermetrics prism that people in Los Angeles viewed Paul Depodesta’s moves with the Dodgers. Accusing the sabermetrically-inclined Alderson administration of being heartless stat-mongers or something.
Or maybe they won’t. I get the sense that there is quiet optimism among Mets fans on the new front office. But it’s exactly these sorts of situations — a less-than-sure-thing fan favorite pitted against cool calculation — that are ripe for the battle lines to be drawn. We’ve seen it before. I wonder if we’ll see it again.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.