The Mets' tribute to the Music City yesterday moved closer to including a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" — or in this case "Auld Lang Cy" — for R.A. Dickey.

With the Winter Meetings officially underway, general manager Sandy Alderson acknowledged engaging in trade talks concerning the veteran knuckleballer, for whom the Mets are seeking pieces that would impact their 2013 fortunes. An industry source said Alderson has spoken with seven to eight teams about Dickey.

Alderson said he expects to have a better sense of which direction the Mets will head by tomorrow. The GM hasn't ruled out signing the NL Cy Young award winner to a contract extension, but his actions indicate a preference to make a deal.

The Red Sox were among the teams Alderson spoke to yesterday, according to a major league source. But the Mets' request that Boston include top prospects — outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and shortstop Xavier Bogaerts — stalled discussions before they could get serious.

The Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers and Brewers also have shown some level of interest in Dickey, who is unsigned beyond next season. He will make $5 million in 2013.

Alderson made it clear the Mets won't settle for low-level minor leaguers in a potential deal for Dickey.

"Are we punting 2013? Absolutely not," Alderson said. "This is not about making a trade for four players from the Appalachian League. Our goal, you have to balance the quality of the player with the potential arrival date of the player, obviously, so that's something we're trying to do."