The R.A. Dickey trade took one big step towards its conclusion on Monday afternoon. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed on a two year extension worth approximately 25 million dollars, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. All that remains in the process is for Dickey to pass a physical exam at Toronto's spring training facility later today. The deal is expected to be announced tonight, and the full list of names switching sides should finally be revealed.
The trade should end up working out as a coup for the New York Mets, who will receive top prospects Travis D'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard in the trade. D'Arnaud has the ability to solve the team's problems behind the plate, which has been an issue since Mike Piazza left town after the 2005 season. Syndergaard adds another talented young arm to the team's farm system, opening up flexibility to continue developing young pitchers as both potential contributors at the big league level and trade assets. Seven of the team's top ten prospects, including Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, are right handed pitchers. The Mets could, when the time is right, decide to package a couple of them together to receive a piece they need for the big league puzzle (like an established closer or a slugging outfielder).
As far as Dickey is concerned, it will be bittersweet to watch him go. Dickey was without a doubt one of the best stories to surround the Mets in the last three years. His rise from the first cut of 2010 spring training camp to Cy Young winner was truly remarkable to watch. The Mets, however, took the logical approach to the situation and not the emotional one. As great as Dickey was last season, the Mets as a whole won only 74 games. The 2013 Mets, even if Dickey was in the fold, are likely not going to the playoffs. If Sandy Alderson was going to target 2014 as a return to contention for the Mets, which is very plausible now, R.A. Dickey would have been a 40 year old pitcher on that team. Instead of having Dickey, the Mets will now have potentially their starting catcher for the next seven years and another young starting pitcher who can hit 100 miles an hour on the radar gun. That is a trade that needs to be made, and Alderson has done a brilliant job of manipulating the trade market the last few seasons. Alderson has turned two aging stars in the last years of their contracts (Dickey and Carlos Beltran) into the top three prospects in the Mets farm system.
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