Could the Red Sox Get R.A. Dickey?

R.A. Dickey December 2012

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson spent his first day at the winter meetings discussing trade options for the National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.

The knuckleballer is under contract for next season at $5 million, but the Mets are serious about trading him this off-season if an extension cannot be reached.

According to a baseball source, the Boston Red Sox are the leading candidate to land the reigning Cy Young Winner. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington  met with Alderson Monday afternoon, with New York looking for outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and shortstop Xander Boegarts in exchange for the star pitcher, the source said. However, it’s unlikely the Red Sox would part with those top prospects.

The Mets met with eight teams Monday about Dickey. No other teams were reported as of late, but I am sure we will find out other teams in the hunt for Dickey within the next week or so.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only six previous Cy Young winners have opened the following season with another club. Dickey may become number seven to switch teams.

The only thing holding Dickey back from a big contract is that he is 38 years of age. It’s hard to throw a lot of money to someone that you have no idea how much longer they will last. The best thing for Dickey to do would be to just stay in New York.

Other teams that are reported to have interest in the knuckleballer are the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I understand a lot of people feel he should go to to a top team like the Dodgers, but if he goes to a team like that, he won’t get paid as much money and he wouldn’t get talked about as much.

It is clear that the Mets do not want to move the ace unless they receive a significant piece in return. The Red Sox have plenty potential offers to put on the table. The Red Sox on Monday agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract with free-agent first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli, pending a physical, a baseball source with direct knowledge of the negotiations told

Also according to another ESPN source, Boston agreed to a deal with free-agent outfielderShane Victorino on Tuesday.The deal, pending a physical, is worth $39 million over three years, according to a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations. Both are great new additions to the ball club.

The Red Sox current pitching staff in chronological order consists of John Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Franklin Morales.

Morales would obviously get bumped into the bullpen where he fits best. He lacks the stamina and pitch variety that most teams want in a starting pitcher. Doubront would be a possible suitor in the Dickey deal because he shows great potential and dominance recording 167 strikeouts last season in only 161 innings pitched. If the Red Sox indeed get to keep Doubront in the deal for Dickey, that would be great for them and could make their starting rotation even better.

Boston has a lot of top prospects and have a big future to look foward to with Bogaerts, RHP Matt Barnes, OF Jackie Bradley, OF Bryce Brentz and others. The Red Sox do show some promise for the future and have plenty to offer in order to get a blockbuster deal done.

The Red Sox will be entering next season with a new manager in the dugout in John Ferrell. Farrell arrives in Boston from Toronto, where he was manager for two seasons. Under Farrell, the Blue Jays finished 81-81 (.500) in 2011 and 73-89 (.451) in 2012.

While he was at the helm, the Blue Jays stole 131 bases in 2011 and 123 in 2012, Toronto’s highest marks in 10 years (since 2002). The two-year total, 254, was fourth-most in the American League. He was selected as a coach on the 2011 All-Star Team by American League skipper Ron Washington.

Farrell, 50, was the Red Sox’s pitching coach from 2007-10, a period in which the staff held opponents to an American League-low .254 batting average and led the league in strikeouts (4,771). In his first year with the Red Sox, the club won the 2007 World Series, and they reached the postseason each of his first three seasons in Boston.

In Farrell’s first year as the Red Sox’ pitching coach, the staff led the American League with a 3.87 ERA (618 ER/1,438.2 IP). Red Sox pitchers also led the AL in strikeouts with 1,185 in 2008 and 1,207 in 2010.

From 2007-10, hurlers posted the third-best ERA in the league, 4.11 (2,637 ER/5,778.1 IP). During Farrell’s tenure as pitching coach, Buchholz and Lester were All-Stars.

With Farrell’s background, he should be able to teach Dickey new things and get this Red Sox rotation back to form. The Red Sox should have a good season behind first year manager Ferrell.

I am not expecting them to make the playoffs right out of the gate, but given a couple seasons under Ferrell’s pitching recommendations and the team should do great things in no time.

Whether Dickey is traded to the Red Sox or not, I think they will be fine and are still on the rise with all of their young prospects. Not to mention they have some cap space to bring in some new talent.

To be clear, Dickey may also sign a two-year extension this week that would take all trade talks off the table. But if the Mets decide a trade might better serve the team, they are more than willing to pursue it.

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