The Toronto Blue Jays second big trade of the offseason is now official after R.A. Dickey signed a 2 year, $24 million contract extension with a $12 million team option for 2016, and passed his physical. Part of the extension will come as a signing bonus for 2013 to offset a tax difference according to Buster Olney. Dickey has a $5 million salary for 2013.
The New York Mets will send 2012 NL Cy Young winner Dickey, catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Blue Jays for catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, prospect pitcher Noah Snydergaard, catcher John Buck and outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra.
The deal puts the Jays all-in for a run at their third World Series Championship. While reports from Toronto are positive for the most part, not everyone likes the move for the Jays.
“I can’t believe [Anthopoulos is] thinking about doing this,” said one AL official Saturday, before the Jays and Mets finished the structure of the deal.
“He’s out of his mind,” said another.
Not many doubt the 38-year old’s talent, but the Jays gave up their 1st (d’Arnaud) and 3rd (Syndergaard) top prospects according to Baseball America. This comes a month after trading their 2nd (Marisnick), 5th (Nicolino) and 8th (Hechavarria) prospects in the trade with the Marlins that landed them Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Buck.
A reason price in prospects for Dickey was so high was the value in his affordability. With way FA market going, a good contract is an asset
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) December 17, 2012
Foxsports Ken Rosenthal had this to say about the trade:
Make no mistake: There is boom-or-bust potential in this trade, for both sides. The Jays could end up like the 2012 Marlins, champions of the offseason, a disaster during the regular season. But this is the right moment for them to strike, and Dickey — odd as it may sound — is the right man for them at the right time.
Forget that Dickey is 38, and that he’s a knuckle-baller. Consider his performance — not just last season, when he won the National League Cy Young Award, but the past three years, when he averaged more than 200 innings per season and produced a 2.95 ERA.
This isn’t a fluke, folks. If Dickey was a conventional thrower — and yes, a bit younger — few would question this trade. Dickey’s strikeout rate increased in each of the past three seasons. His hit rate decreased, and his walk rate remained stable and low.
ESPN’s Buster Olney filled out his starting rotation and batting order for the 2013 Blue Jays:
1. R.A. Dickey, the Cy Young winner
2. Brandon Morrow, the hardest thrower on the staff
3. Mark Buehrle, the softest thrower
4. Josh Johnson
5. Ricky Romero
SS Jose Reyes Switch-hitter
LF Melky Cabrera S
RF Jose Bautista R
1B-DH Edwin Encarnacion R
DH-1B Adam Lind L
3B Brett Lawrie R
CF Colby Rasmus L
C J.P. Arencibia R
2B Emilio Bonifacio or Maicer Izturis S
If the all-in approach will work the Jays remains to be seen, but they are definitely trying to take advantage a potentially weaker AL East. The New York Yankees are aging and not spending like in the past, Boston Red Sox are rebuilding on the fly, the Tampa Bay Rays are same small market Rays of old, and Baltimore Orioles haven’t done much yet to build on their unexpected successful 2012 season.
Blue Jays MLB.com reporter Gregor Chisholm on the trade: