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.
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.