Since the New York Mets and David Wright reached an agreement on a lucrative contract extension late last week, there continues to be mixed opinions on whether the organization will extend their NL Cy Young award-winner R.A. Dickey, or move him for a package of high-upside prospects.
Earlier this morning, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that as many as eight teams are interested in the 38-year-old knuckleballer, including the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals. However, now that the Nats are likely to sign free-agent Dan Haren (as tweeted by Ken Rosenthal), it’s safe to rule them out of the mix.
Here’s a look at a prospect package from each of the seven aforementioned teams that could potentially be used to land R.A. Dickey.
The asking price for any of the aforementioned arms is high, understandably, and therefore it’s not surprising that Wil Myers' name continues to come up (via ESPN New York). In my personal opinion, the Royals' temptation to trade Myers, who is regarded as one of the top offensive prospects in the game with six-plus years of team control, is foolish and doesn’t justify any asking price.
However, depending on their true interest in the 38-year-old knuckleballer, it can’t be ruled out at this point.
Moving Jurickson Profar for Dickey is a trade that simply won't happen, and with good reason. However, the Rangers do possess a host of other highly projectable, nearly big-league-ready prospects capable of making an impact in 2013.
Third baseman Mike Olt (who's drawn interest (via MLBblogs.com) from several organizations) and outfielder Leonys Martin are prime candidates to be moved in a Dickey-Rangers trade.
If we’ve learned one thing since the Guggenheim group purchased the Dodgers, it’s that there’s no cost too steep to land a desired player. Therefore, although they traded two of their top pitching prospects at last year’s trade deadline (right-handers Ethan Martin and Allen Webster) and now have a relative weak farm system, I still expect that they’d willing part with their top chips, RHP Zach Lee and outfielder Joc Pederson.
Even though the Diamondbacks apparently have more interest in a free-agent pitcher such as Brandon McCarthy, Heyman did mention that they are in the discussion for Dickey. With the Mets' desire for impact position prospects and the Diamondbacks’ abundance of pitching prospects, it doesn’t necessarily seem like a clean fit.
Still, it’s possible that two teams get creative and structure a trade around outfielder A.J. Pollock, catcher Michael Perez and one pitcher such as right-hander Anthony Meo or Chase Davidson.
GM Sandy Alderson has set the price high for Dickey, especially when discussing a potential trade with the Boston Red Sox. As one of the few organizations with more position prospects than pitchers, ESPN.com's Adam Rubin and Joe McDonald noted that Alderson is interested in a prospect package of SS Xander Bogaerts and OF Jackie Bradley.
But don’t worry, Red Sox fans, I don’t foresee any scenario in which the team trades Bogaerts, their top prospect. At the same time, Bradley is definitely a realistic trade candidate in this scenario, and could be packaged with a player such as third baseman Garin Cecchini, outfielder Bryce Brentz or even catcher Blake Swihart.
Much like the Dodgers, the Orioles have few prospect trade chips outside of Dylan Bundy—but there’s no chance he’ll be moved. However, they do have two interesting bats in third baseman/shortstop Jon Schoop and corner infielder Nick Delmonico.
Schoop, 20, clearly has the more upside of the two players, though his acquisition could present a positional logjam at the hot corner given David Wright’s recent extension and Wilmer Flores’ steady development.
Although Gose is no longer considered a “prospect” given his big league experience during the 2012 season, he’s still a young, high-ceiling center fielder given his plus speed, handedness and excellent defense.
The Blue Jays have exceptional depth behind the plate with J.P. Arencibia and John Buck, not to mention highly regarded prospects Travis d’Arnaud and A.J. Jimenez—though both will enter the 2013 season fresh off season-ending injuries.