NY Mets R.A. Dickey Entering Rarified Air, What Does This Mean for Contract?
Last week many New York Mets' fans began discussing the possibility of R.A Dickey winning the National League Cy Young, which would be the first for the Mets since Dwight Gooden in 1985.
After his second consecutive one-hitter, which lowered his ERA to 2.00, he may be on pace to become the first Met player to win an MVP award since...never.
Obviously, nobody expects Dickey to continue at this pace. He has now pitched 42.2 innings without giving up an earned run, just 6.1 behind Gooden for the franchise record.
He is also the first pitcher since Dave Stieb in 1988 to record consecutive one-hitters. Stieb's performances, by the way, were more excruciating as he lost a no-hit both times with two outs in the ninth inning.
The last National League pitcher to accomplish the feat was Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves in 1944.
Dickey is also the last pitcher since Francisco Liriano in 2006 to accumulate 11 wins, a sub 2.50 ERA and more than one strikeout per inning over his first 14 starts.
All these statistics are impressive, but what does this mean for his future?
Of course, Dickey is not a typical pitcher asking for a contract extension. He is 37-years-old, he is not a prototypical athlete that spends exorbitant amounts of money on material items, he is an avid read (according to his Twitter account) and he obviously loves New York.
What is a fair contract for RA Dickey?
Mathew Cerrone of Mets Blog addressed this subject. While exact figures are not yet known, it would seem fair for each sides to cave in a bit.
Strictly by performance, Dickey is worth over $100 million on the open market. How many pitchers are putting up these numbers?
Verlander, Strasburg and Sabathia are all franchise players that are receiving—or will soon receive—annual salaries exceeding $20 million.
Dickey and his agent know that he is not 27 anymore, and no team would give him that type of money.
In my estimation, the team will soon come to terms with Dickey on a four-year deal (not counting 2013) worth $12 million per year.
It cannot be too soon, however, since Dickey is performing on a level that would warrant an Alex Rodriguez type of deal.
They will wait until after the All-Star break, perhaps early August (also the time they extended David Wright and Jose Reyes in 2006), before making a decision. That way, Dickey will truly have financial security for the first time in his career and will not be playing year to year.
Also, the Mets will be receiving the services of an elite level pitcher below the market value they set by signing Johan Santana back in 2008.
Dickey is not new to the city the way Johan was, he is a marketing gem at this point and clearly a fan favorite.
While his performance will undoubtedly come down to Earth at some point, it is clear based on the past three seasons that Dickey is here to stay and his future is in New York.
The Mets need to lock him up as a way to reward him for his contributions to the team and to treat their fans to one of the most affable players in the game.
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