Contract negotiations between the Mets and R.A. Dickey, stuck last week in a stalemate, have inched toward meaningful progress in the past 24 hours.

Mets sources told the Daily News late Monday that the team, while still refusing to rule out a trade, was in the process of increasing its offer to the Cy Young Award winner to approximately three years, $25 million.

The breakdown: A two-year contract extension at about $10 million per season, in addition to the $5 million already owned to Dickey in 2013. Despite reports to the contrary, Mets sources insisted that the team had not offered that much during last week's winter meetings.

As the Daily News has been reporting, Dickey has been asking for a two-year extension for approximately $26 million, totaling $31 million over three years.

During and immediately after the winter meetings, the Mets' offer of a two-year extension had been for about $10 million less than Dickey's request; now the sides appear to be only about $6 million apart.

Despite this progress, a trade sending Dickey out of New York remains a real possibility. The Texas Rangers saw two front-line starting pitchers go elsewhere last weekend, when free agent Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers, and Tampa Bay traded James Shields to Kansas City for top outfield prospect Wil Myers.

The Rangers had eyed both Greinke and Shields, and it was fair to wonder if they would increase their willingness to move top prospects for Dickey. As The News reported Sunday, the Mets wanted more than slugger Mike Olt from Texas, and talks had gone cold.

GM Sandy Alderson's job this week is to work on two fronts, attempting to sign Dickey, while waiting for the Rangers to make a substantial offer. On Monday, Mets people were more optimistic about contract talks with Dickey than about trade talks with the Rangers — but of course, the entire equation could change with one phone call from Texas GM Jon Daniels.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/mets-throw-curve-knuckler-2-year-20m-extension-offer-article-1.1217382#ixzz2EkLKVCxn