Nationals

Cy Young winner Dickey, Mets still negotiating

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Cy Young winner Dickey, Mets still negotiating

NEW YORK (AP) R.A. Dickey and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can agree on one thing - they would prefer to have closure before opening day.

The NL Cy Young Award winner can become a free agent after 2013 and says he won't negotiate once the season starts, so the Mets probably have to sign him to a new contract or trade him to get the best return.

Dickey says it ``would be disappointing'' if he simply played out his option year and became a free agent. If that occurred, he said he thinks he wouldn't return to the Mets, a team with which he says he has ``a real connection.''

``If that's the decision that they make, I feel like it would be unfortunate because it probably is going mean that I'm not going to be back,'' Dickey said. ``And that would be sad. ... That would be disappointing.''

At a team event Tuesday for children displaced from their schools by Superstorm Sandy, Dickey and Alderson said the sides were still apart.

The Mets have two ways to get the most out of their investment of Dickey, who is coming off a season in which he led the NL with 230 strikeouts and went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA. The year before, he was the first player the Mets cut in spring training, though he worked his way to New York and earned a spot in the rotation at the end of the year.

In 2012, he blossomed into an All-Star - and his contract for next season pays him well below market value. He's due $5 million for next season, which could make the 38-year-old attractive in a trade. Or the knuckleballer could sign a multiyear deal with the organization that gave him a chance when most players in Dickey's position would have been out of baseball.

Or he could leave after 2013.

``I would say of the three options, the three scenarios that have developed, that would probably be the least optimal. So to that extent at least we agree,'' Alderson said. ``Would it be acceptable? From our standpoint, yes.''

For Dickey, who had most of his first-round bonus withdrawn by the Texas Rangers in 1996 when a physical revealed that he has no ulnar collateral ligament, it's the first time he's been such a hot commodity.

He's never negotiated with a team for a deal of this size, and the experience appears to have been somewhat jarring for the thoughtful right-hander who keeps Haruki Murakami novels in his locker and has said he'd like to teach high-school English if he didn't play baseball.

``Things are emotional for me. When people say it's business, it's not personal, that just means it's not personal for them. It can be personal for me. I'm hoping that it's going to end up in a good place, but you can't help in the back of your mind think that it may not, and that's sad,'' Dickey said. ``All along, this has been the place that I've been - and that's not just the company line, I mean I feel a real connection to this place. But at the same time, you don't want to be taken advantage of.

``So that's where we are.''

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

The Nationals face the Rockies at Coors Field for the first half of this work week. Here are three things to watch for:

  1. Can the Nationals stay above .500? Stephen Strasburg’s impressive start along with Ryan Zimmerman’s two homers and two RBI kept Washington from being swept by the lowly Marlins.

  2. Who will produce with Anthony Rendon out? While the Nats 3B was sidelined with an elbow injury after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s outing against the Marlins, Howie Kendrick started in his place. Kendrick went 1-for-3 vs Miami with one RBI and one strikeout. In terms of replacing Rendon’s hitting prowess, Victor Robles has started a streak of his own. The youngster is hot on a seven game hit streak, including a bunt over the infield Sunday.

  3. Will the Nationals ever sure up their end game? Yesterday’s ninth inning was on the brink of disaster. Kyle Barraclough allowed back-to-back walks, then Sean Doolittle loaded the bases. Luckily for the Nats, crisis averted.

Download the MyTeams app (https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/myteams-nbc-sports ) for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upperhand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.

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