Mets and R.A. Dickey avoid arbitration, agree to two-year deal

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UPDATE: Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the deal is worth about $8 million.

11:13 PM, Friday: The Mets might be hard up for cash, but they just signed one of their pitchers to a multi-year contract.

According to Andy Martino, the Mets and R.A. Dickey avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013, pending a physical.

The new deal covers his final arbitration season and at least his first year of free agency. Exact terms aren’t yet known, but Dickey requested $4.7 million and was offered $3.35 million from the Mets when arbitration figures were exchanged last Tuesday.

The 36-year-old knuckleballer was a revelation for the Mets last season, posting a 2.84 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 104/42 K/BB ratio over 174 1/3 innings.

I’m expecting something in the range of two years and $8-9 million, maybe a little more in the form of a buyout. If Dickey can prove that last season wasn’t a fluke, the Mets will have done very well here.

UPDATE: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that including the option and potential incentives, Dickey could make $13 million over the length of the contract.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.