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.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.