Everyone take a breath.

Twenty-four hours after R.A. Dickey expressed frustration with contract negotiations at the Mets' holiday party, and team officials voiced private disapproval over the timing of Dickey's comments, there were — for once, in this circus of an extended story — only minor developments Wednesday, and no obvious weirdness.

A trade remains a solid possibility, and while the Mets indicated there was nothing hot brewing with the Texas Rangers — who have long been seen as a leading candidate to trade for Dickey — a rival executive said, "Keep your eye on Texas. They're in it to win."

The Mets have long since concluded that in a deal with Texas they would need more than slugger Mike Olt, a third base prospect who would move to the outfield.

The Mets remained willing to pay the 38-year-old Dickey $25 million over three years, but team insiders continued to indicate an irreversible aversion to meeting the Cy Young Award winner's asking price of $26 million over two seasons, after he earns $5 million in 2013. Despite Dickey's 20-win performance this year, the Mets are reluctant to pay any 40-year-old pitcher quite that much over two years.

As the Daily News reported on Tuesday, the two camps are about $6 million apart, better than the $10 million difference at last week's winter meetings. If the sides do not agree to a deal this winter, Mets people insist that they are serious about bringing Dickey to spring training without an extension, even though the pitcher doesn't want that outcome.

Mets insiders said on Tuesday and Wednesday that they were not in a hurry to sign Dickey, because they were waiting to see if other teams would increase their trade offers. The Mets also said there was increased trade interest in Dickey since aces Zack Greinke and James Shields came off the board last weekend, but did not offer specifics.

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