Jeff Wilpon invoked the dreaded "T" word Tuesday when discussing pitcher R.A. Dickey and, gulp, franchise face David Wright.

But before the Flushing faithful should fear any pre-Thanksgiving indigestion, the Mets' COO said trading Dickey and Wright remained the third option behind more desirable solutions.

Wilpon said "the first preference" was to sign both the 2012 NL Cy Young winner and third baseman to long-term extensions. The Mets already exercised Dickey's and Wright's 2013 contract options last month — $16 million for Wright, $5 million for the knuckleball pitcher.

"The second preference is probably to keep them and have them play out the season," added Wilpon. "Third preference would be to trade them. They're both very important to the franchise and they're both fan favorites. So we'd like to keep it that way."

Mets fans already watched one of the team's home-grown stars, Jose Reyes, leave for a richer contract after the 2011 season, and it would be a death knell for them if Wright departed. Wilpon said he was encouraged by the talks over the past three weeks, but had no target date to reach a resolution.

"Certainly, it's gotten better, because there's (been) conversations going back and forth. So when you look at it from the end of the season when you didn't really know how they were going to accept or look at how we were positioning things and they were positioning things, there's more optimism. I don't want to get into where we are, what offers have been there, what haven't — the process is ongoing. And it's a good process right now. We hope to have a resolution," Wilpon said.

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