As reported by Fox Sports, R.A. Dickey was officially traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays, in addition to Dickey, will receive Josh Thole, who will act as Dickey's personal catcher, and also minor league catcher Mike Nickeas.
The Mets will gain much-hyped prospect Travis d'Arnaud, and Noah Syndergaard, minor league outfielder Wuilmer Beccera, as well as catcher John Buck, whom the Jays received in their trade with the Marlins.
This trade was a natural fit for both teams. The Mets were in the market for a catcher and an outfielder, although Anthony Gose was initially in a package that included J.P. Arencebia, the Mets wanted the much coveted d'Arnaud instead for releasing their ace.
Although Josh Johnson has performed well in 2011, the Jays for their part, clearly wanted another front-line starter for the upcoming season.
A few Toronto fans were confused by this trade. It's understandable, given that the Jays just released their best and arguably second-best prospect. Initially, I was upset as well, but I think it stemmed from a few emotionally charged thoughts.
Travis d'Arnaud was a key component that Toronto received for the Roy Halladay trade, and to trade away that piece seems like a punch in the gut after releasing our beloved Roy.
Another problem I had with Dickey was that he was a knuckleballer.
There's this idea that knuckleballers aren't to be trusted, that as great as Dickey is, even he doesn't really know where his pitches are going. Even the Niekro brothers, Tim Wakefield or Tom Candiotti couldn't predict where their pitches were going.
If we take the emotions out of it, though, the trade makes perfect sense for the Jays. Dickey is a Cy Young winner—Cy Young winners aren't regularly traded by their team after winning the award, only four have been traded in this manner in history. Here the Jays have received last season's leader in strikeouts, someone who was second in ERA, a true ace.
At $30 million for three years, the Jays got an absolute steal. Dickey is projected to be the Jays ace, and he isn't even the highest paid pitcher on the staff.
Although Dickey may be considered "old" at 38, his arm is still very young. Wakefield kept pitching until he was 45, there's no reason to not believe that Dickey, who only started throwing the knuckleball in 2006, can't do the same.
For the last three years, Dickey's averaged 200-plus innings pitched, as well as an ERA below three. He has been pitching well for three years—there's no reason to trust the naysayers who believe his last year was a fluke.
In 1993, the Blue Jays traded Jeff Kent, who had an amazing career, for David Cone. Despite Kent's great career, few people remember the trade, as the Jays were able to use Cone's services to land themselves a World Series Title.
If this happens again, few will remember this trade as a negative.
Lets put it another way: What player is the "heart and soul" of the Blue Jays franchise? Jose Bautista. If Toronto is to make a run for the playoffs, it should do it now, when he's at his prime, not in a few years when d'Arnaud and Syndergaard will be difference makers.
As a Jays fan, we've bemoaned for far too long about the ownership, and how we're constantly told to be patient. Well, now that the Jays are favorites to win it all, why should we still be complaining?
As highly touted as d'Arnaud and Syndergaard may be as prospects, they are just that—prospects. These players may never pan out the way the team hopes.
Just look at Travis Snider.
Before Alex Anthopoulos came to Toronto, the Jays had one of the worst farm systems in the majors, at the end of last season, they had a top three farm. The Blue Jays have more scouts than any other team in baseball; I realize that prospects like d'Arnaud don't appear everyday, but let the scouts do their jobs, and find more prospects.
The only fans who should be upset by this trade are Marlins fans. They arguably gave more away in their trade with the Jays, but never received d'Arnaud or Syndergaard. Jays fans should not be upset about losing prospects—after all, the Marlins have some of the best prospects in the league, is anyone going to see them this year?
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