R.A. Dickey is coming off the best season of his career, and one of the best seasons from a 38-year old in history.
Dickey made 33 starts for the New York Mets in 34 appearances and compiled a record of 20-6. Over a league-leading 233.3 innings, Dickey sported a 2.74 ERA and whiffed a league-leading 230 batters.
Needless to say, he's the front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award. Consider the fact that he was the only pitcher on the Mets to win more than six games, and it's safe to say that it was one of the more impressive pitching performances in history.
Now, consider the state of the Mets. The team is going nowhere fast, and has several tough decisions to face this offseason.
David Wright is in line for an extension. He is the face of the team's lineup, but he could also fetch a hefty return in a trade.
Dickey could also be in line for an extension, but could he also fetch a large return as the face of the Mets' rotation?
Well, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News thinks so.
An American League executive thinks that (via Martino) "10, 12 teams, maybe more, would be in on him, if the Mets decided to move him."
Martino again offered his readers another interesting quotation, this time for a National League talent evaluator: "It makes sense that they would think about selling high on him. There would obviously be a lot of interest."
While Martino stresses that there has been no indication that the Mets are indeed trying to move their ace, it's worth speculating as to whether or not the team should pursue a trade.
Dickey would no doubt bring back a nice return for the Mets, even though he'll enter next spring training at 38 years old.
As a knuckleballer, he likely has more than a few good years left in him if he can achieve similar successes to 2012. Throw in the fact that he'll be making just $5 million in 2013, and he's a very appealing piece to other teams.
A team could very well offer the Mets several high-level prospects in a deal for Dickey. General manager Sandy Alderson would be smart to consider.
His team is currently mired in underperformance. Several veterans that have been brought in over the years have failed to pan out as a Met—i.e. Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran—and Alderson could take a big step towards rebuilding by selling high on Dickey.
Even with his breakout Cy Young performance, his track record is not very consistent. While there's no reason to believe he'll regress, it's also very understandable for some to doubt if he can have the same success next season.
If the Mets sell high on Dickey this offseason, they can potentially set themselves up to compete sooner rather than later.
If Alderson receives calls on his ace, he should be more than willing to listen.