‘‘It just makes it tougher, more than two clubs,’’ he said, adding he had a variety of trade and free-agent options. ‘‘There are a couple of big decisions that are going to impact the direction. We've narrowed it down, but there’s still a couple ways we can go. Some of that is up to us, and some of that is up to the guys on the other side of the table.’’
After exploring trades involving Dickey, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said it was possible the team could keep the knuckleballer without a deal for beyond 2013.
‘‘I don’t think it’s necessarily the optimum result, but it’s a possible result,’’ he said.
Some teams worry about overpaying this early in the offseason. Other clubs conclude they must.
‘‘You run into people, like, ‘Man, I didn’t want to do that, but I had no choice,'’’ Cashman said. ‘‘So they’re getting a problem solved, but they’re not happy with their solution and what they had to do to solve it. I don’t want to be in that position. I'd rather feel good about what I'm doing.’’
NOTES: The winter meetings will return to Nashville in 2015, the governing body of the minor leagues announced. Next year’s meetings are in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and the 2014 session is in San Diego.