R.A. Dickey is planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next month for charity. The Mets have sent a letter to Dickey's agent warning him that the team can void the final year of his contract if Dickey is hurt on the climb, a Mets spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
The Mets sent the letter earlier this year to Dickey's agent, Bo McKinnis, who did not return a call for comment.
Dickey, 37, is due to make $4.25 million in 2012 and has a $5-million team option (against a $300,000 buyout) for 2013. He has reached a career peak since joining the Mets for 2010, refining a knuckleball and becoming an important starting pitcher after years as a journeyman spot starter/long reliever. He is 19-22 with a 3.08 ERA as a Met.
A Mets spokesman confirmed that general manager Sandy Alderson told The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview concerning Dickey: "If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn't have sent the letter. Beyond that, have we tried to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless."
Dickey organized the climb largely to raise awareness for Bombay Teen Challenge, a charity that aids victims of sex trafficking in India.
Although the exact language in Dickey's contract isn't known, the standard player contract includes this wording: "The Player and the Club recognize and agree that the Player's participation in certain other sports may impair or destroy his ability and skill as a baseball player. Accordingly, the Player agrees that he will not engage in . . . " a list of sports and activities totaling more than 50, including "mountain climbing."