All That’s Left For Dickey Deal Is Mets’ Fans Crying

All R.A. Dickey must do is turn his head and cough and he’ll be a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s appropriate to Mets fans because they are the ones with the hernia from bearing the heavy weight of the promises the organization made them in recent years.

DICKEY: Going, going ... gone.

It is done and Dickey is gone after agreeing to a two-year, $25-million extension with the Blue Jays, which ironically is less than he sought from the Mets. If the Mets don’t feel a twinge of embarrassment in that they should.

Some of the money, along with his $5 million salary – when the Mets picked up the option they said they hoped to extend his contract – will be paid immediately of offset the tax difference between the United States and Canada. The exact dollar figure to be front-loaded is still being negotiated.

The Mets will receive catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, whose 2012 season was cut short by a knee injury, and Class A pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard. The teams are also swapping catchers, Josh Thole and John Buck, to give Dickey his old batterymate.

Toronto is including an undisclosed amount of cash to help pay Buck’s $6 million salary, further indication the Mets’ financial problems are far from over.

So, the Mets are giving their Cy Young Award winner and one of their few 2012 positives for two prospects – one injured – which are nothing more than wishes in the wind. The Mets are gambling the prospects will make it, but don’t know for sure. Nobody does.

In all fairness, Dickey has only done it once, although 2010 and 2011 were good seasons for a No. 5 starter, so there’s an element of risk for the Blue Jays. However, by also adding pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, along with Jose Reyes, the Blue Jays believe it is one worth taking because they are in position to compete in the rugged AL East.

Clearly, the Mets don’t believe they are in any position to compete in the near future, otherwise they would have kept him, right?

I understand the Mets’ need to maximize what they could get for Dickey, but nobody can say with certainty those prospects will be stars. If so, then it is a good deal. If not, and Dickey still wins in the American League, then it’s not a good trade.

Like most, I was skeptical about the Mets being able to sign both Dickey and David Wright. What I don’t like is how the Mets handled this, holding out for a lot in the trade market but not conceding anything in the contract negotiations. They kept saying they would be competitive, but that’s gone now.

That Dickey was dealt indicates the team still has financial issues, making me wonder what promises they made to Wright about being able to compete.

The Mets were willing to pay $20 million for Dickey, which is now moot. So, are they willing to pay that to fix their outfield and porous bullpen? Jeff Wilpon said Sandy Alderson has a greater budget than the $103 million the Mets spent last year, but the general manager is holding on to it as if it was his money.

One thing Dickey gave the Mets was hope for improvement. Now, that’s gone and the team is now searching for another starter. Where they will get him is anybody’s guess. Mike Pelfrey also left this weekend for less money. With Johan Santana coming back from an injury and gone after this season, Dillon Gee coming back from injury and Matt Harvey, Jon Niese is the de facto ace with a career-high 13 wins last year.

Makes me confident, for sure.

It is also a guessing game as to the bullpen and outfield. Outside of Wright, the Mets have not made any significant moves. They have even shied away from bringing back role outfielder Scott Hairston.

So, if you aren’t optimistic things will change any time soon for the Mets, you’re probably right.

10 thoughts on “All That’s Left For Dickey Deal Is Mets’ Fans Crying

  1. I don’t think it’s clear the Mets, ultimately, would only have been willing to extend Dickey at $20 million. I think that they refrained from making Dickey a serious offer until such time as they determined they could not get what they wanted for him in trade. Don’t forget, Dickey was still under contract for 2013, pursuant to a deal he himself signed. The Mets were under no obligation to negotiate an extension at all. Clearly, Alderson thought it more valuable to the team to get high-quality prospects than to have Dickey at $25-26 million for two years. We can argue about that assessment, but I think we have to assume that if Alderson had not gotten the deal he was looking for on the trade market, he would have come back with an offer for an extension much closer to Dickey’s number. The $20 million offer was just stalling for time while SA explored the trade market.

    • Acoustic: Thanks for your comments. Yes, Alderson’s thinking on trade vs. signing Dickey is apparent he wanted to deal all along despite his initial stated preference of extending the contract. I don’t know if you could say Alderson was stalling for time because he did have the $5 million option in his pocket as you said. Who is to say the best deal might not have come until July? In dealing now, Alderson was calculating Dickey was a fluke in 2012 and they should get something immediately.-JD

      • I heard a clip of Dickey today stating that he believes that the Mets never intended to sign him. This makes sense as they have no money ( David notwithstanding ) and a deeply flawed team.

        So they got a few prospects for RA and cut their immediate salary by $5m.

        I also heard a clip of Sandy discussing the state of the Mets. He stated that in the past the minors were no help, but that now he feels comfortable that when injuries crop up a player with options can be pulled from below to contribute. I agree. Our organization is stronger in that we can have young players come up in a pinch rather than having to sign broken veterans to stash in AAA to fill that role. Unfortunately we do not have a major league OF to start the season.

  2. “What I don’t like is how the Mets handled this, holding out for a lot in the trade market but not conceding anything in the contract negotiations.”

    That’s one of the best things to like about the deal. They didn’t just rush to take the first offer they got. They played the market, waited things out and got as great of an offer as anyone could have expected (better than pretty much anyone had projected). IMO the stalling of the negotiations was due to the fact that they were exploring the trade market. The market for Dickey didn’t seem to pick up until after some of the FA pitchers were off the board. So the slow negotiations were likely a stall tactic to wait to see what the trade market would unfold like. I agree with Acoustic , I think they could have paid him if they wanted to…but for once chose the right baseball move instead of the PR move.

    Dickey was a great story and I have enjoyed watching him these last 3 years. But I don’t see keeping the 38 year old pitcher as something that would be “giving the Mets hope for improvement”. That hope for improvement comes via trading him and cashing him into fill holes that can help the team.

    • Well our rotation is

      Santana
      Harvey
      Niese
      Gee
      Mejia

      Not a great rotation. Our bullpen such as it is will get a good workout.

      And we have no OF nor do we have a decent pen. As John said before the team is worse than last year.

    • nym: I understand Alderson was trying to play the market. I just don’t know he did to the fullest extent. And, did the Mets really fill the holes they needed? It might turn out to be the prudent baseball move, but we won’t know that for at least a few years.-JD

  3. We have some prospects that are blocked by Wright and Davis, could we make a package maybe with a pitcher also ,for some outfield help?

    • None of those prospects you mention are on baseball America’s top 5. You won’t get much in return

      All have issues. The biggest of which is that as corners not power.