A few days ago, I wrote about the pros and cons of trading R.A. Dickey. Since then, a couple of big events have happened in Major League Baseball, setting the wheels in motion for a possible trade between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays which would center around Dickey.
Earlier this week, the Blue Jays shook the baseball world by stealing Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and others from the salary-dumping Miami Marlins in a 12-player blockbuster trade (pending approval from MLB). The transaction vaulted the Jays into contention in the American League East. However, the Blue Jays could use another pitcher to complete their starting rotation.
On Wednesday, November 14, Dickey completed a storybook season by winning the National League Cy Young Award. He became the first Mets pitcher to take home the hardware since Dwight Gooden in 1985. But Dickey is seeking an extension (the Mets picked up his option for next season) and New York may not be willing to sign the knuckle-baller beyond next season.
In my opinion, that’s where these two storylines meet. The Mets and Blue Jays would make perfect trade partners, because each team has what the other one needs to reach their goals. Here’s a look at what each team has to gain in a trade involving the 2012 Cy Young winner.
What’s in it for the Mets
The Mets are looking two or three years down the road, when stud pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, plus promising lefty Jon Niese (signed through 2016) are ready to lead the team to the playoffs. By trading Dickey to the Blue Jays, the Mets would save money which can be redirected towards extending David Wright’s contract or signing a free agent. If the Mets are going to sign a starting pitcher to a multi-year contract, why not a younger hurler such as 28-year-old Anibal Sanchez?
Furthermore, the Mets are desperate for a catcher and it just so happens that the Blue Jays have the best catching prospect in baseball in Travis d’Arnaud. The Jays likely won’t part with him, but I’ll bet they’d deal J.P. Arencibia as part of a package to make room for d’Arnaud. Arencibia is only 26-years old and has averaged 20 home runs over the last two seasons. The Mets could ask for Arencibia and an outfield prospect, such as D.J. Davis or Chris Hawkins, to complete the deal.
What’s in it for the Blue Jays
Sensing an opening in the American League East, the Blue Jays made a bold move to jump into contention. But was it enough? Frankly, the Jays could use another starting pitcher behind ace Ricky Romero and the newly-added Buehrle. Dickey is the solution. Not only is he an ace-like starter, but he’s a tremendous clubhouse guy. The Jays can’t go wrong with him.
Upon completion of a trade for Dickey, Toronto could extend his contract at a reasonable price for two or three years, which is not a long commitment compared to what other free agents will demand. Moreover, Dickey had success last season against the A.L. East. He one-hit both the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays, two teams which figure to be in the mix for the division title, as well.
As a Mets fan, I would hate to see Dickey traded to any team, but this move makes sense on many levels. Plus, it could help the Jays stick it to the New York Yankees. Need I say more?
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. You can follow him on Twitter @PegCitySports.
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