The actual deal won’t be released or finalized until at least Sunday but the current rumours have the Toronto Blue Jays trading top prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard along with veteran backstop John Buck and another prospect to the New York Mets for reigning 2012 Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and another prospect.
Overrating prospects is easy to do, especially ones you follow from draft day but at first glance this looks awfully steep. We are potentially giving up a lot of controllable years on two of our top prospects. We have plenty of interesting arms to replace Noah Syndergaard but losing Travis d’Arnaud would be especially tough given the lack of offensive prospects close to being major league ready.
My first thought was Dickey makes our team markedly better for the next two to three seasons and right now isn’t that all that really matters? Perhaps Alex Anthopoulos is actually selling high on TDA and Syndergaard but a part of me is nervous about this trade.
Again we are adding a Cy Young award winner in R.A. Dickey who has been an extremely underrated pitcher over the past three years. Teams look to contend will routinely trade away their best prospects and this is no different. Maybe I am just unaccustomed to seeing a team from Toronto actually trying to make a splash.
R.A. Dickey is a damn good pitcher and don’t dare call him a one year wonder as that is way off base.
Here is what Dave Cameron of Fangraphs recently wrote:
Apparently, there’s this idea that pre-2012 R.A. Dickey was a worthless nothing, and after his fluke season, he’s headed right back to being a trick pitch sideshow. That idea is just hilariously wrong.
61 pitchers threw at least 350 innings between 2010 and 2011. During those two years, Dickey posted an ERA- of 81, meaning that he prevented runs at a rate 19 percent better than the league average. We’re using ERA- for Dickey because knuckleballers have a long exhibited history of being an exception to FIP, by the way. That put him squarely between Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, and ahead of guys like Hiroki Kuroda, Dan Haren, Chris Carpenter, and Mat Latos. Not bad company.
If I had to guess at what Alex Anthopoulos was thinking (is that even allowed?) or what his strategy was it would have to be R.A. Dickey wasn’t necessarily the only pitcher targeted he just happened to be the best one available right now. Free agent hurler Edwin Jackson is probably looking for an arm and a leg or has already informed the Blue Jays he wouldn’t sign here.
When the top guns of the Blue Jays farm system became available I wouldn’t doubt that AA was contacted by different teams offering various arms but with most of the best young arms off the market (Mat Latos, Gio Gonzalez) and other options too risky (Matt Garza) or divisional rivals (David Price) this R.A. Dickey thing just made the most sense.
I am just struggling with the fact that we essentially just traded our two best prospects for a 38-year old pitcher, albeit a very effective one. This is certainly an “all-in” moment for the Blue Jays front office as our farm system has been stripped to the bones. On the other hand our current regime has consistently shown the ability to build and restock the minor league ranks.
Check back when this deal is actually finalized one way or another. I know some Blue Jays fans actually hope this deal falls apart. This does feel very UN-Alex Anthopoulos given the way it has played out in the media and it feels very Yu Darvish like.
Stay tuned. John Farrell couldn’t be contacted for comment.