There is a lot of chatter out there right now regarding a potential multi-player trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets that would bring the Jays last seasons NL Cy Young award winner, R.A. Dickey. It’s rumoured that the Mets want a centre fielder and a catcher in return. What remains to be seen is what combination of these players would Toronto give up. If the Mets are looking for “major league ready” players, it would most likely be a combination of two of the following four players: Colby Rasmus, John Buck, Anthony Gose, and JP Arencibia.
The Jays do have depth at both these positions, but I’m still not sure they are that close to making a move. I remember all too fondly the Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder rumours of last offseason. Usually, if it’s a rumour and the Blue Jays are involved, it’s not happening. Alex Anthopoulos is the stealth of GM’s and operates in the dark.
Dickey’s contract is intriguing, however. At 38 years old, he has gotten better every season over the last three. Last year he won the NL Cy Young with a 20-6 record and a sparkling 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He is under contract for only 2013 for $5 million (which seems like a bargain in this market). Dickey is reported seeking a 2 year, $26 million extension. It’s easy to say: 3 years at $31 million makes a lot of sense, even for a 38 year old.
Dickey is a knuckleballer and therefore is thought to possess a rubber arm. These types of pitchers often pitch soundly into their early 40s. But is a combination of, say, JP Arencibia and Anthony Gose too much to give up for Dickey?
I definitely think yes. I’m all for the move if it does go through, although I doubt it will since it’s rumoured (not Anthopoulos’ style), but that’s more because I trust AA to know his team. Pat Gillick sat in front of me last season during spring training and told me that the two Jays prospects he was most excited about were single-A pitcher Noah Syndergaard and triple-A outfielder Anthony Gose. If Gillick says this, I’m hesitant to move either of these players.
Also, the Jays gave up quite a bit to get J.A Happ – someone that had been in Anthopoulos’ crosshairs since the Roy Halladay deal with Philly. The Jays sent two major leaguers that were not part of the future – Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco – and four minor league prospects – Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins and Carlos Perez – and a player to be named later to Houston for J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, and David Carpenter. Lyon was a free agent at the end of last year and looks to be gone. Carpenter was traded to the Red Sox along with John Farrell for Mike Aviles (and then claimed off waivers by the Braves this offseason – Aviles, of course was traded with Yan Gomes to Cleveland for righty reliever Esmil Rogers). So, we got Happ for four minor leaguers – two who are quality prospects in Musgrove and Wojciechowshi, and two guys we wanted to get rid of, basically.
That’s still a lot for just Happ, though. Isn’t it? I was super shocked when Farrell didn’t immediately replace Brett Cecil in the rotation with Happ (you’ll remember my blog on Darren Oliver – To play or not to play where I discuss Cecil’s attributes as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen) and instead had Happ “prove himself in the ‘pen” before putting him in a rotation that was more beaten down than Tina Turner circa 1970.
I know AA wants to upgrade the rotation and I’m fine with this move if he makes it. But we gave up a lot for Happ and I really don’t mind him as a 5th starter. I don’t think AA minds him either. But if we can get Dickey without giving up too much, well, I might just win my bet after all (see my first blog ever on this site for reference).