Report: R.A. Dickey more likely to stay with the Mets than be traded

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The future of R.A. Dickey was a popular topic at this week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, but it’s increasingly likely that he’ll be pitching in Queens again next season.

Marc Carig of New York Newsday was told by a person familiar with the situation that there is a “growing sense” that the Mets will pass on trade offers because they feel they aren’t good enough to trade the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. The Rangers, Blue Jays and Royals are believed to be the most interested suitors, but the Mets haven’t found a deal to their liking yet. There should be more clarity on the situation once Zack Greinke makes a decision on where to sign.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said following David Wright’s press conference earlier this week that Dickey could remain with the Mets in 2013 without an extension and Carig was told that there’s “no guarantee” that a new deal will be worked out. It’s in Dickey’s best interests to get an extension done now while it’s unlikely his trade value will ever be higher, so that’s obviously not an ideal scenario for either side.

Dickey, 38, owns a 2.95 ERA over three seasons with the Mets. It’s believed that he’s looking for a two-year extension in the range of $25 million.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.