If the Mets don’t extend David Wright, R.A. Dickey is likely gone

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When it comes to what R.A. Dickey is going to do once his contract is up with the Mets, he says he views he and David Wright as something of a package deal for the Mets:

“If I don’t see them pursuing David hard,” Dickey said, “I think it would be a message to everybody that they’re content to spend the next five or six years rebuilding this organization. Rather than trying to be competitive, and trying to rebuild it at the same time.

“I think you can do both. I think (doing both is) what they want to do.

“But if you see them not really pursue him hard, that’s the message that I get. Unless they trade him and get multiple, big-league pieces back.”

Both Dickey and Wright have team options through 2013 and, clearly, the Mets are going to want to work on Wright first.  The Mets have made every indication that they’re doing to try to lock up Wright.  I think the bigger question for Dickey is whether he can come close to matching his 2012 season next year.  Because if he, as many knuckleballers have in the past, starts to get a bit erratic out there, it would probably give a lot of team’s pause about signing him to a significant deal.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”