R.A. Dickey was at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on Sunday as the baseball industry gathered for its annual winter meetings.
No, he wasn’t here to sign a contract extension with the New York Mets. The visit had a less exciting genesis: Dickey lives in the area and wanted to check in with Mets head athletic trainer Ray Ramirez about his recovery from offseason abdominal surgery.
But Dickey also knows his contractual status will be a focal point of this week’s proceedings in his hometown. Dickey is under contract for only one more season at $5 million. If the Mets don’t sign Dickey to a contract extension soon, it’s possible they will trade the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.
“There’s been progress, without going into the details,” Dickey said. “There has been progress, yes.”
Dickey indicated there has been positive trend in talks since fellow Mets star David Wright agreed to a contract extension with the team Friday. Dickey clarified that those conversations took place “organically,” rather than as a direct result of Wright’s eight-year, $138 million deal.
The Mets made Dickey a two-year offer Friday, but the movement in negotiations has been “minimal” overall, a separate major-league source told FOXSports.com. The team is expected to meet with Dickey’s agent — although not necessarily Dickey himself — during this week’s meetings.
“I try not to give (the trade rumors) much merit,” Dickey said. “It could be so many different things, from posturing to reality to who knows what. Rumors. I don’t put a lot of stock into it.”
Asked whether he believes he will be a Mets player when spring training opens in February, Dickey said, “I don’t really know if I can throw a percentage down on it, but that’s my hope. That’s 100 percent my hope. That being said, you never want to be taken advantage of.”
Dickey, 38, has enjoyed a late-career renaissance with the Mets, deploying his knuckleball to great effect while going 39-28 with a 2.95 ERA over the past three seasons. When the winter meetings last came to Nashville five years ago, Dickey was a fringe major leaguer selected in the Rule 5 draft. “Kind of funny, isn’t it?” he said, when reminded of that. “I thought about it, sure. It’s fun to think about.”
FOXSports.com senior national baseball writer Ken Rosenthal contributed to this report.