Insider bets Dickey remains a Met

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Will the Mets trade R.A. Dickey?

Team officials obviously will make the decision based on how aggressive other teams bid. So no one can say for sure.

Still, one team insider reiterated what was predicted to ESPNNewYork.com entering the winter meetings: Unless the Mets are absolutely bowled over by an offer, they will stand pat with their rotation -- Dickey, Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee.

Sandy Alderson said publicly Monday that he wants a "difference-maker" in return if he traded Dickey.

A team insider elaborated that the Mets have all eyes on 2014, when Santana will be off the books (and only some Jason Bay deferred money will still be owed). Also that season, Zack Wheeler should have joined Harvey in the rotation. The person pledged the Mets would be far more active in free agency next offseason, heading into '14.

The Mets do not want a trade return for Dickey that would primarily help in 2013. They could just keep Dickey if the primary interest was on next season. Instead, the Mets want a safe bet to seriously contribute in 2014. And if they did swing a trade, the source added, they want the other organization to seriously overpay.

That said, the Mets are not positive they can sign Dickey to an extension. While it is being portrayed that Dickey only seeks a two-year deal on top of the existing $5 million owed in 2013, a team insider said that's not how it is being communicated to the organization right now. Or, the source added, right now it is three years worth of money being sought.