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.