Several teams interested in trading for R.A. Dickey

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The Mets have been trying to sign R.A. Dickey to a multi-year contract extension. If it doesn’t work out, they’re likely to trade him at some point this winter.

And they will not lack for potential suitors.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Mets “have fielded calls from six or seven teams” that want to chat at the Winter Meetings next week in Nashville, Tennessee about what it would take to acquire the veteran knuckleballer. The Royals have already been linked, though they’ll probably want to go a little younger if possible. Heyman suspects the Mets “will seek a catcher and outfield help” in return.

Dickey won the Cy Young Award in the National League this past season after posting a fantastic 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 230/54 K/BB ratio across 233 2/3 innings of work. The 38-year-old right-hander is currently scheduled to hit the free agent market next winter. He’ll make a $5 million salary in 2013.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.