Mets must re-sign R.A. Dickey

Forget trading him: Mets must keep knuckleballer in Queens

Updated: November 21, 2012, 12:05 PM ET
By Dave Cameron | FanGraphs
R.A. DickeyRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty ImagesThere's no reason for the Mets to think R.A. Dickey isn't worth a long-term contract.

R.A. Dickey is one of three finalists for the NL Cy Young Award, which will be announced Wednesday. According to rumors from last week, there's also a chance that accepting the award will be the last thing he does in a Mets uniform. With just one year left on his contract, the Mets are exploring what it will take to re-sign him to a new deal and simultaneously gauging his market value in order to determine whether or not they're better off keeping him or trading him.

To me, the answer is pretty clear: They should keep R.A. Dickey for themselves.

The thought process behind trading him makes sense on the surface. He is going to be 38 next year, the Mets don't look like contenders in 2013, and he'll be a free agent at the end of next season. However, roster construction isn't just a one-year decision, and the Mets need to look at Dickey's value beyond 2013 as well. And, because of the pitch that he specializes in, we need to throw away everything we think we know about a normal pitcher's career after age 38.

Knuckleballers are a different breed, and history shows that their career trajectories don't look anything like traditional pitchers'. In fact, even heading into his age-38 season, there's no reason to think that Dickey is anywhere near the end of his career.