UPDATE: Martino adds that it’s become clear in negotiations that Dickey will sign for a deal comparable to, but likely less than, Jake Peavy’s recent two-year, $29 million extension with the White Sox. Sure, there are worries about Dickey’s age and he throws harder than the average knuckleballer, but his asking price doesn’t sound unreasonable at all.
12:23 PM: We have two reports on where the Mets stand in contract talks with 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported this morning that the Mets plan to offer Dickey a two-year extension. Meanwhile, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that the Mets already made a two-year offer to Dickey approximately two weeks ago and the two sides are in the process of negotiating the terms.
No word on any specifics regarding the money involved, but Martino reports that the Mets know Dickey would accept a two-year deal. The Mets have already picked up Dickey’s bargain $5 million club option for 2013, but the knuckleballer is due to hit the free agent market next offseason.
While an extension is on the radar, the Mets are also talking to other teams to get a sense of what they could fetch in a potential trade. The fan backlash would be overwhelming if Dickey is traded this offseason, but the Mets are understandably seeing what’s out there with his value at an all-time high. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday that he hopes to have some “clarity” in regard to Dickey and David Wright before the Winter Meetings begin on December 3.
Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 230 strikeouts over 233 2/3 innings this season. The 38-year-old has a 2.95 ERA over three seasons with the Mets.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”