Cy Young Makes R.A. Dickey Decision More Difficult

Trading Dickey comes down to more than baseball

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Dickey's excellence might make him too good for the Mets to keep.

    The Jets are doing a pretty good job of explaining why it isn't in your best interests to make decisions for your sports team based on anything other than winning the most games possible over the longest period of time.

    It's something the Mets should be paying attention to when they make their call on what to do about R.A. Dickey this offseason. Unless he signs a deal with the team, Dickey will become a free agent at the end of the 2013 season and that's led to discussion about trading him now so that the team can reap some benefit from his departure.  

    Because Dickey's improbable ascension is one of the few positive things to happen in Queens since the Mets lost Game Seven of the 2006 National League Championship Series, trading him off a great year was always going to be a tough sell to the fans. Doing it after Dickey was named the team's first Cy Young winner since 1985 is only going to be more difficult. 

    That's not an insignificant consideration for the Mets. They haven't been able to sell tickets with Dickey on the team and a further backlash from the masses would make Citi Field a great place to hold a private conversation next season. 

    In a perfect world, you wouldn't think twice about making sure that Dickey remains a Met for as long as possible. He's been your best player for the last two seasons and teams generally don't improve by trading players like that unless there's some kind of locker room issue that does not exist in Dickey's case. 

    As any Mets fan is already well aware, it isn't a perfect world. The Mets desperately need to upgrade the talent at the top end of the organization so that the last four years don't drag into a Pirates or Royals situation where the team is an annual second class citizen. 

    Avoiding that fate is why Sandy Alderson was hired and it may be that there's an offer (especially from a team looking for a marketing bump from having the Cy Young winner pitch every five days) out there for Dickey that would help jumpstart the team's return to a meaningful status in the major leagues. Alderson and the Mets can't pass on that deal in order to appease fans who, whatever their outrage, always come back when the team wins. 

    There were plenty of Mets fans who said they wiped their hands of the team in 1977 when Tom Seaver was traded who wound up back at Shea Stadium when the team got good again in 1984. The current Mets would prefer not to wait that long for a revival, but perhaps things would have started moving along a bit earlier if they hadn't passed on other opportunities to cash in (or, in the case of Jason Bay and other undesirables, cash out) on assets when the time was right. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.