Toronto Blue Jays

MLB Trade Talk: Toronto Blue Jays Trading for R.A. Dickey Would Be a Mistake

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 02:  Pitcher R.A. Dickey #43 of the New York Mets throws against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on October 2, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IINovember 22, 2012

The Toronto Blue Jays seem to be the flavor of the month around MLB.

We even have guys like Joel Sherman of the New York Post paying attention to the blue birds. In an article posted early Wednesday morning, Sherman posits that the Jays may not be done shopping this offseason and are looking to add another top-of-the-rotation starter, speculating it could even be NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey

This meshes with what Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tweeted earlier this week:

AA says he still will try to find ways to improve. When pressed, he points to depth in rotation, adding to bullpen

Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 20, 2012

While I'm sure Jays fans everywhere applaud the efforts of Alex Anthopoulos this offseason and would surely love to see another front-line pitcher in the rotation, R.A. Dickey is just not the solution.

His last three seasons have certainly been impressive, but take into consideration where Toronto plays and his age, and the prospect of acquiring Dickey isn't nearly as enticing.

First, Dickey will be moving from the NL East division, which wasn't exactly the strongest of divisions this season.

Other than Washington, there wasn't really another lineup that scared pitchers. Atlanta may have claimed the first wild-card spot with a very good year, but it was 11th in the NL in team batting average and ninth in team OPS—putting it in the bottom half of the league in both categories.

 

Now shift him to the AL East, where he'll be playing in one of the toughest divisions in professional sports.

Not exactly reassuring.

Secondly, R.A. Dickey in Toronto would mean playing a good number of his games in a dome.

Not exactly conducive to a knuckleballer. What's worse, Toronto plays almost all of its April home games, some games in May if it's chilly and any game where rain is a possibility in Toronto with a closed dome.

No wind means a pretty useless knuckleball.

Then there's Tampa Bay, who also plays in a dome—the difference being it does not open. Now, Toronto only plays nine games a year in Tampa, but average it out and that's another two starts for Dickey in a venue he would probably rather avoid.

Then there's the inconvenient fact that he's 38.

Now, before you scroll down to the comments section to remind me that age isn't as much of a factor with knuckleball pitchers, don't worry, I'm aware.

Question is, how long can he be effective?

If the Jays are going to give into the Mets' demands for Dickey, they better be absolutely positive that he can pitch until he's 40 or 41, and do it well.

All things considered, if I was Alex Anthopoulos, I'd turn somewhere else and maybe look to add another ace via trade or go out and sign a pitcher like Dan Haren, who could be a perfect fit as a second or third starter and make Toronto's rotation the deepest in all of baseball.

 

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