NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As of late Wednesday night, the Mets still were walking the same familiar line between trading R.A. Dickey and signing the Cy Young winner to what they want to be a reasonable extension.
It is a very fluid situation. As one person familiar with the team's thinking explained, the Mets are sitting on trade proposals for Dickey from at least three clubs and possibly four, with the most significant piece from each already in place.
Sandy Alderson, however, has no immediate desire to do a one-for-one swap and has been holding out for another player. Should one of those prospective teams cave in and deliver on that request, Dickey could be gone just as quickly.
Speaking generally -- and not just about Dickey's situation -- Wednesday, Alderson made it clear there are plenty of options available to him.
"Can we make a trade? Yeah, we can make a trade," he said. "It's a balance. We don't know if what's on the table is something that tomorrow we'll decide is acceptable or not. We'll just wait and see."
Alderson said he is interested only in a "difference-maker" in exchange for Dickey because that's what he'd be giving up. With him signed for next season, at only $5 million, the Mets have time to wait out the market and let the failed suitors for Zack Greinke or Anibal Sanchez come to them.
As for signing Dickey, they shouldn't expect his price to drop any time soon, and he's been seeking a two-year extension beyond 2013 worth roughly $25 million, according to a person familiar with the talks. Dickey's cause was helped Wednesday night when CBSsports.com reported Joe Blanton had agreed to a two-year, $15-million deal with the Angels.
A day earlier, Dickey's agent, Bo McKinnis, said both sides were comfortable with the years and structure of an extension, but the money was a big sticking point. Alderson and Jeff Wilpon suggested that keeping Dickey for 2013, on his current deal, is a possibility.
"It's always been an option," Alderson said. "It's not preferable from our standpoint. But at some stage, we'll have to weigh Options A, B and C and make a judgment. It may turn out over time that the one-year option is the most viable for us."
Besides Dickey, the Mets' primary mission has been to acquire an outfielder, and they have taken two approaches to that: with Dickey as bait and another without him in the deal. A source said the Mets had been monitoring free agent Ryan Ludwick, but he reportedly was close to re-signing with the Reds. There's also the outside chance that Andres Torres could return.