He’s been the brightest light in the Mets dim season, but R.A. Dickey is 38 years-old and will be a free agent after the 2013 season. In light of that, Adam Rubin reports:
Despite knuckleballers often successfully pitching into their 40s, Mets officials appear wary of making a sizable commitment. That could lead Dickey to being traded this offseason if the right deal presented itself, since the Mets would have some starting-pitching depth to absorb his departure.
Trading a 20-game winner (and perhaps the reigning Cy Young winner) would not be a popular move among the fan base and could further erode attendance in 2013.
It would piss off every Mets fan around, but really, his value is unlikely to be any higher and it’s not at all certain that he’d be an important part of the next good Mets team. The gamble, if they keep and extend him, is that his current production — or something close to the current production — is a new normal that will last for his age 39-42 seasons or whatever. Such a thing is not unprecedented, especially with knuckleballers, but it’s also not likely.
I have to wonder if there isn’t a team out there who wouldn’t overpay for an inexpensive, 2013 version of R.A. Dickey. I bet someone would.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.