INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Assorted notes from the baseball general managers' meetings:
• I already can hear the New York Mets’ spin on right-hander R.A. Dickey now — the tried and true “Greedy Ballplayer” theory.
Dickey, the Mets will say, wanted too much in a contract extension, so the team traded him rather than get suckered into a bad deal.
Such a portrayal simply would not be accurate.
The Mets, sources say, have shown little actual interest in negotiating with Dickey, who is under contract for next season at $5 million.
Instead, they’re discussing him in trades at the GM meetings. If they get the right deal, they will just move on.
Trading Dickey, 38, probably is the right thing for the Mets to do, considering all of their holes. But the Mets intend to pin this on Dickey, they first need to make him a substantial offer.
That, sources say, has not happened.
• The Yankees are out of the Justin Upton sweepstakes, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Even if they wanted to be “in,” they would lack the necessary talent to entice the Diamondbacks in a trade.
Several rival executives view the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays as the teams most interested in Upton, but the Rays would need free-agent center fielder B.J. Upton to reject their qualifying offer before they make any move — they could not afford the salaries of both Uptons. B.J., though, is attracting strong interest, and almost certainly will reject the Rays’ offer by Friday’s deadline.
One executive suggests the Detroit Tigers as a possible darkhorse for Justin Upton. The Diamondbacks want a shortstop or a third baseman, and the Tigers could offer third-base prospect Nick Castellanos and a combination of other players, including right fielder Avisail Garcia and pitchers Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.
I am not suggesting that the Tigers would trade any or all of those players for Justin Upton; it’s just one exec’s speculation. But the Tigers at least have the players to make such a deal happen, and Dave Dombrowski is one of the game’s boldest, most aggressive GMs.
The Atlanta Braves, by the way, do not appear serious about a pursuit of Justin Upton.
• The Red Sox are disinclined to trade Jacoby Ellsbury for two reasons: His value is down, and the team is intent on contending next season under new manager John Farrell.
Ellsbury figures to be highly motivated in his free-agent year, and the Red Sox recognize that they probably cannot trade him and become a better team.
Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox’s center fielder of the future, is ready for the majors defensively but not offensively. Some club officials believe that he might be best served by a full year in the minors.
Boston’s Ben Cherington is one of those GMs who will listen on any player, but the chances of the Sox moving Ellbury appear slim.
• Free-agent right-hander Brett Myers is telling teams that he wants to be a starter first, a closer second, and a setup man third.
Myers, 32, started last season as a closer with the Houston Astros because of the team’s need, then remained a reliever after getting traded to the Chicago White Sox.
However, he pitched a combined 439-2/3 innings as a starter for the Astros in 2010 and ’11, and previously shifted from the bullpen to the rotation with the Phillies in 2008.
• Right-hander Jon Garland, who sat out all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery in July 2011, intends to make a comeback next season.
Garland, 33, threw for 10 to 15 teams in September but decided not to return at that time. He figures to sign with a club in late January.
— Ken Rosenthal