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.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.