So much for yesterday’s talk about R.A. Dickey and the Mets making progress in their contract extension negotiations, I guess.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Mets are “showing little interest in signing Dickey to an extension” and are “discussing him in trades.”
Joel Sherman had a similar report in this morning’s New York Post, writing that “there was a substantial gap between what they are willing to offer the righty and what they perceive Dickey wants.”
Dickey is a great pitcher and an even better story, but he’s also a 38-year-old knuckleballer and for a team coming off a 74-88 season it would make plenty of sense to see what sort of young talent he could fetch in a trade. For now he’s signed for 2013 at the bargain price of $5 million and the Mets’ decision-makers are also working on a potential long-term extension with David Wright.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.