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No tangible moves for Mets, but progress made

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Shortly after arriving at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center last weekend, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he expected to narrow down options on multiple fronts by the end of the Winter Meetings. Yet the Meetings came and went without any tangible moves for the Mets, while contingencies still abound up and down their roster.

"I guess anything is possible," Alderson shrugged.

Anything like trading R.A. Dickey. Or signing Dickey to an extension. Or retaining Dickey on his current deal.

Re-signing Scott Hairston is also possible. Inking a different outfielder instead is possible. Trading for an outfielder or a catcher is possible. Acquiring no catcher at all is possible. Making two or three player acquisition splashes before Christmas is possible. Doing nothing at all before the holiday is possible. And so on and so forth, on and on and on.

So much remains uncertain for the Mets, who are watching what Alderson called a "hot" -- read: expensive -- free-agent market unfold slowly around them. The Mets may not see any resolution on Dickey until free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke signs with a club, forcing interested teams to increase their trade offers. But the Mets do not feel that Greinke's situation alone is holding up negotiations.

"It's not clear that it's impacting us," Alderson said. "It may in a general way, simply because until he has signed, there's always the possibility for a club that he's an option. But I don't think it's had a direct impact on all of the conversations that we've had."

Alderson does feel the Mets made progress on multiple fronts this week, working on Dickey's situation as well as deals for outfielders, catchers and relievers. After arriving back in New York, the GM plans to sit down and reevaluate the market, gauging whether it will remain "hot" or cool off into the winter months. Those analyses should dictate his plan for the rest of the offseason.

Meanwhile, Dickey's situation will not necessarily hold the team hostage. Alderson said the Mets can "move on our other needs" while figuring out whether to trade or retain Dickey.

Answers will begin rolling in soon -- if not immediately -- on all fronts. But in the end, the GM's message leaving the Meetings was similar to what he indicated after arriving.

Said Alderson: "We're going to be patient."

Deals done: The Mets officially signed David Wright to a new eight-year, $138 million contract, though they had agreed to that in principle before coming to the Meetings. While in Nashville, they did not make any new deals.

Rule 5 Draft activity: The Mets selected left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein with the eighth pick in the Draft, then immediately traded him to the Tigers for cash considerations. They did not lose any players in the Draft.

Goals accomplished: The Mets may not have accomplished anything tangible at the Meetings, but they did make progress on several fronts. They listened to trade offers on Dickey from more than a half-dozen clubs and talked to agents regarding their needs at outfield, catcher and the bullpen. On every front, they are closer to achieving their goals than before.

Unfinished business: All their business is unfinished. The Mets still must decide whether they will trade Dickey, sign him to an extension or bring him back on his current deal. They also still have the aforementioned holes at catcher, outfield and in their bullpen, and must fill out their bench. Expect multiple signings within the next few weeks.

Team's bottom line: "We're happy with the progress we've made. It's always nice to see something tangible at the end of the Meetings, but we feel that we've made solid progress on a number of different fronts. So we'll go back to New York and continue to pursue certain things and go from here." -- Alderson

New York Mets, R.A. Dickey