Mets making progress in extension talks with R.A. Dickey

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The Mets made the easy decision last month to exercise a $5 million club option for 2013 on R.A. Dickey. But now they’re working on a multi-year extension with the knuckleballer. And working hard.

Dickey told Marc Carig of Newsday on Wednesday night that negotiations have “progressed” and that he feels the “franchise is going in the right direction.”

Dickey, 38, posted a stellar 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 34 appearances (33 starts) this season, fanning 230 batters and issuing only 54 walks in 233 2/3 innings. He should get a two- or three-year deal.

Dickey was named a finalist for the BBWAA’s National League Cy Young Award earlier this evening.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.