New York Mets 2013: Why Trading Cy Young Winner R.A. Dickey Is Good for the Mets
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Reigning Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey looks to be leaving Flushing Meadows and heading north this winter to the Toronto Blue Jays if they agree on an extension, according to Fox Sports. In what has already been an exciting offseason filled with blockbuster trades and big free-agent signings, Toronto's acquisition of the knuckleballer definitely adds to a completely revamped Blue Jay team.
Though Dickey is coming off of a stellar season with the Mets, he's no spring chicken and will be starting the 2013 season at the age of 38. Not that Dickey won't return to form in a heavy-hitting American League East, but the Mets will be adding two solid prospects (with another prospect to be named later) and a reliable veteran catcher in John Buck to a team that saw a drastic payroll cut in 2012.
Though this trade may not immediately bring the Mets out of obscurity, it certainly will add some key components to a team looking to rebuild and re-establish themselves as a threat in the National League East.
Let's take a look at a few ways this trade will benefit the Mets and should make their fans excited for the future of the ball club.
Travis D'Arnaud Is Going to Be a Stud
Catcher Travis D'Arnaud
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Catcher Travis D'Arnaud is going to be a stud when he is brought up to the major league team. You may not know his name now, but you will definitely see his presence in the very near future.
D'Arnaud, who turned 24 in February, was Major League Baseball's No. 17 rated prospect going into 2012. In Triple-A last season for the Jays, D'Arnaud hit .333, with 16 bombs and 52 RBI. The year before, he tore up Double-A New Hampshire with a .311 average, 21 home runs and 78 RBI.
D'Arnaud's bat is definitely major-league ready, but he also has an amazing glove behind the plate and was named Baseball America's best defensive catcher for 2011 in the Eastern League. He also threw out 30 percent of runners last year for Triple-A Vegas.
With the opportunity to shine in Citi Park, Met's fans should be thrilled to see the addition of Travis D'Arnaud and will certainly be praising his name and saying, "R.A. who", when he makes his debut with the big club.
Noah Syndergaard - Tony Farlow/Four Seam Images via AP Images
The 38th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Noah Syndergaard has a lot of potential and could play a key role for the Mets pitching staff for many years to come.
Coming in at 6'7", 200 pounds, Syndergaard, has shown plus command, a respectable 94-mph fastball and a near-plus curveball over three seasons in the Blue Jays farm system. He also owns a 2.35 ERA with 196 K's (in 175 innings) in his brief minor league career.
Syndergaard will only be 20 years old going into the 2013 season and looks to have as much upside as any pitcher in the Mets system. Should he continue to excel in the minors, you will most likely see Syndergaard with the major league much sooner than later.
R.A. Dickey Is No Guarantee
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R.A. Dickey may be coming off of a Cy Young worthy year, but he is no guaranteed bet for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dickey, who will be 38 in 2013, could possibly pitch into his mid-40s like other knuckleballers such as Tim Wakefield and Phil Niekro have done in the past.
However, Dickey is susceptible to injury and he has publicly acknowledged taking painkillers for most of the 2011 season while dealing with a foot issue. He also pitched nearly all of 2012 with an abdominal tear that required offseason surgery.
Though he led the National League in innings pitched (232.2) and strikeouts (230), with five complete games last season, he's still only had two seasons of 200-plus innings pitched and was nothing more than mediocre prior to the 2010 season.
Not that the Blue Jays made a mistake in trading for Dickey, but the upside in shopping him at the prime of value was a good move for a Mets team in need of young, emerging talent.
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John Buck never got a chance to play for the Blue Jays in 2013 (though he did play one season for them in 2010) after being traded to Toronto with Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio back in November.
He may not be the most impressive addition to this deal, but he does have some decent pop to his bat and will provide veteran leadership and tutoring to Travis D'Arnaud when he gets the promotion to the big club.
With a 162-game average of 20 home runs per year, Buck will be a decent addition to the Mets lineup while they await the coming of their future catcher, Travis D'Arnaud.