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Quick Timeline

Posted By Howard Megdal On October 24, 2012 @ 2:02 pm In Business of Baseball | Comments Disabled

Hi everyone! I’d love to update you about the Mets’ progress toward retaining David Wright and R.A. Dickey, but there doesn’t seem to be much to report. Here’s a timeline to get a sense of where things stand:

October 3: Sandy Alderson describes retaining Dickey and Wright as a top priority [1], and when asked when he will begin negotiations, replies, “How long does [this] game last?”

October 6: The New York Post quotes “baseball source with knowledge of the team’s thinking” as saying the team could have deals in principle with Wright and Dickey [2] by the start of the World Series.

October 9: The potential framework for a Wright offer-six years, $100 million, gets leaked to Jon Heyman [3]. This isn’t close to what anyone thinks it will take to keep him; Adam Rubin suggests Wright is likely to get eight years, $160 million, a contract others I’ve spoken with see as around the midrange of a Wright free agency next winter.

Heyman also writes: “The Mets may give talks about a month, until the point where they will pick up the two players’ options in early November. If there are no new deals done by the time the team picks up the options (Wright’s is for $16 million, Dickey’s is for $5 million) the Mets may consider trades for the players. But particularly in Wright’s case, the Mets might have to be overwhelmed to pull the trigger on a trade.”

No terms are even mentioned for Dickey, who’d been cited as a top priority by Alderson six days earlier.

October 21: Matt Cerrone, over at Metsblog [4], reports that the Mets haven’t even begun substantive talks about a contract extension.

October 24: The World Series starts at 8:07.

Early November, when options would be picked up, is around a week away.

Now obviously, there’s nothing preventing the Mets from extending their own self-imposed deadline. But it certainly seems odd that the team would artificially lower its own leverage with both players they want to retain, and with teams they’d subsequently trade with. Those teams will know the Mets already have given up on re-signing both players.

I had someone email me to say this yesterday:

“Ehhh, GM’s lie all the time, I really don’t take much out of it.”

Sure, they lie all the time to increase leverage ahead of bringing in new talent for fans.

How often do they stage an elaborate ruse to try and fool fans while lowering their leverage and options with their own free agents to be and other teams?

To be clear, maybe there’s more to this story. Maybe it will turn out that while in public it looks like the Mets are offering Wright an extension that’s at the lowest end of what he is likely to receive from anyone, and nothing at all to Dickey, the Mets will come out and surprise us. Maybe there will be a joint press conference at 6 PM tonight to announce the joint signings.

But watch carefully, because if nothing changes, that urgency on Wright and Dickey was pretend, and geared toward only one thing: mollifying you.

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URLs in this post:

[1] describes retaining Dickey and Wright as a top priority: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/sports/2012/10/6537785/sandy-alderson-moneyball-playing-loop

[2] the team could have deals in principle with Wright and Dickey: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/source_mets_eye_quickie_deals_for_4eeaxgpALVUV2dUgjuOCsJ?utm_medium=twitter&utm_content=Mets&utm_source=dlvr.it

[3] gets leaked to Jon Heyman: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/jon-heyman/20525462/mets-expected-to-offer-about-100m-to-start-as-they-try-to-make-david-wright-a-met-for-life

[4] Matt Cerrone, over at Metsblog: http://metsblog.com/metsblog/how-to-handle-r-a-dickey/#disqus_thread

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