Nashville, Tenn. • R.A. Dickey wandered through the sprawling Opryland Hotel on Sunday, dropping into baseball's annual winter meetings for a quick visit.
The newly minted NL Cy Young Award winner made the 15-minute drive from his home to see a New York Mets trainer for a routine checkup after abdominal surgery in October. The knuckleballer found it a tad bit ironic that when baseball's annual swapfest was last held in this hotel, in 2007, he was in limbo, left off Minnesota's list of protected players and plucked by Seattle in the Rule 5 draft.
"Kind of funny, isn't it?" he said to New York reporters.
The fates of several other players could take shape over the next few days. Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke top the list of available free agents and Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco have been mentioned in trade speculation.
Dickey wound up seeing Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. The knuckleballer is signed for $5.25 million next year and would like to add two more guaranteed seasons.
Alderson said they chatted for around 10 minutes about things other than a new contract.
"R.A.'s situation needs to be resolved, but it doesn't necessarily have to be resolved here in Nashville before Thursday," Alderson said. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who spent freely in trading for Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford late last season, could be the big spenders this week. It sure won't be the Marlins, who made a splash by signing free agents Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle at last year's meetings, then finished last in the NL East and traded the trio after the season.
Executives from all 30 teams will take the opportunity of being under the same roof albeit spread out, as the hotel has 2,881 rooms to try to shape their clubs for next year.