His new uniform, the one he will wear at a holiday gathering this morning, belongs to a different team.

Santa's team.

As fans continue to search the tea leaves for clues about R.A. Dickey's future, the Mets dropped a read-into-this-what-you-will news release Monday morning. The team announced that Dickey will join first baseman Ike Davis and former closer John Franco at Citi Field as the Mets treat 100 Queens schoolchildren to a holiday lunch.

Franco will play the role of Santa Claus; Dickey and Davis will dress as elves.

With Dickey in the midst of contract extension talks with the Mets, an appearance at a team function certainly seems like a positive sign that the two sides will hash out an agreement. Dickey is under contract for one more year at a team-friendly rate of $5 million. He reportedly is seeking two additional years.

But the team has been open about shopping Dickey. At last week's Winter Meetings, general manager Sandy Alderson said discussions were on "two different tracks."

"While we're waiting for a better trade offer, we're also still exploring bringing R.A. back," Alderson said.

"Somewhere in between there's probably a deal to be made," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said.

Over the weekend, two separate events may have added some fuel to the Dickey negotiations. Zack Greinke, the most coveted free-agent arm on the market, signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And the Kansas City Royals, desperate to contend in 2013, shipped prospect Wil Myers to Tampa for right-hander James Shields.

Even though he had a much better season in 2012, Dickey is eight years older than Shields. It's doubtful another team would hand the Mets a prospect as glittery as Myers (.304 with 24 homers during a 99-game run with Class AAA Omaha last season).