Will Mets Trade R.A. Dickey?

From the MetsToday mailbag:


It seems the desire to land a big time pitcher is really ramping up as the deadline approaches. Any thoughts on the Mets seeing if they can sell really high on Dickey?


The immediate answer from any Mets fan is “heck no!”, and I’m fairly certain the Mets front office feels the same way. After all, R.A. Dickey has been the Mets’ best pitcher, and one of the best five starters in baseball this year. Considering that the rotation has already lost Mike Pelfrey, Dillon Gee, and Johan Santana, and the bullpen has been awful, the Mets need to get all the innings they can out of a reliable pitcher like Dickey.

Beyond what he does on the mound, Dickey gives the Mets immeasurable promotional value. He’s a huge fan favorite and on his way to being a legitimate “draw” – i.e., a pitcher who puts fannies in the seats on days he starts. I’m surprised, in fact, that the Mets haven’t leveraged R.A.’s popularity more to generate revenue.

Also, if the Mets traded R.A. Dickey, it would signify the white flag of surrender for the 2012 season — just as it was when the Mets sent Carlos Beltran packing. With ticket sales down, the organization can’t afford to tell the fan base that the season is over — even if the team’s chance of getting to the playoffs is already slim.

But, if the Mets are truly rebuilding, and looking toward 2013 and beyond, shouldn’t they at least consider dealing Dickey? On the one hand, it could be argued that as a knuckleballer, the 37-year-old Dickey has at least 4-5 more seasons in him, if not more — which means he could easily be a part of a rebuilding plan. On the other hand, what if this is the best R.A. will ever be? What if his peak value is right now? Or perhaps more importantly, what if the Mets can get a few legitimate prospects for their future? Is it better to have one good starting pitcher or 2-3 pieces?

I’m not suggesting that the Mets should shop R.A. Dickey. But, they’re likely listening if anyone is making an offer. How much would it take for another team to pry R.A. from the Mets?

What do you think? Would the Mets be crazy to trade R.A. Dickey, or crazy not to? Explain your position in the comments.


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Mike B July 30, 2012 at 10:48 am
    Dickey is def one of my favorite Mets and has been one of the only guys that you can rely on over the last 3 seasons.

    That being said, The Mets should trade him. This is been my gripe with the Mets for the last 4 years they sit in the middle, they dont sell, they dont buy. They sit idle.

    If they couldnt add the pieces to win this year what is going to be the big diference next year or the year after? Get the pieces we need and get them now to add to what would seen a pretty good rotation in 2-3 years Gee Niese Harvey Wheeler.

    Dump everyone but Ike, David and Tejada.

  2. Englishman in Amsterdam July 30, 2012 at 10:54 am
    There is absolute NO WAY they can trade Dickey. The facts are that no one is watching this team to see Tejada or Nieuwenhuis or Davis or even Wright, but they are watching Dickey. If you trade Dickey, sure, you might get some prospects, but I fancy the Mets chances of landing some bigger names next year a lot more if RA is still in the rotation. The Mets have FINALLY lucked into a bit of pitching past Johan, why in the hell would you get rid of just as soon as it’s arrived? Get rid of Jason Bay for literally any bullpen help you can get, even if it’s AAA level nobodies just to get him off the books and get another arm, no matter how dead it might be, into the pen.
    • Mike B July 30, 2012 at 11:01 am
      Jason Bay is untradeable. what team wants to pay 15 million for a guy batting 159?

      I will trade Dickey and interest he generates once every 5 games for a team that has my interest every day and has a chance to win!

      I think Tejada Davis and Wright do generate interest and are great to watch. Tole Nieuwenhuis Dudda are def not and I am on the fence with Murph but think he should prob be traded,

    • Joe H July 31, 2012 at 9:48 am
      I totally agree with you that the Mets need to part ways with Jason Bay but like its been said, no team is willing to part with even a low level prospect to take on his contract. If we parted with Bay the Mets would still have to eat a MAJOR portion of his remaining contract to even make him appealing to any team. The only team I could ever see even being slightly interested (while the mets pay a majority of his remaining contract) would be the Red Sox due to the great success he had in his years playing there. I think Jason Bay has turned into one of the biggest busts next to the trade in 2004 when the Mets parted ways with Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano! Although you cant blame Jason Bay on the Franchise because nobody could forsee him being as bad as hes been
  3. Mike Kelm July 30, 2012 at 10:57 am
    I don’t see the mets trading him for a couple of reasons. One, as was pointed out, as a knuckleball pitcher he isn’t your typical 37 year old with one or two more seasons- 4 or 5 seasons is a realistic expectation, and he will make a great mentor for a couple years as Harvey, Wheeler and company move up and try to become 1/2 pitchers. Two is a lot of teams fear knuckleballers. The pitching coaches don’t know what to do with them, they are concerned how catching a knuckleballer will affect a young cathcher (see Posey, Buster), etc. In short, teams won’t value Dickey as much as another 14 game winner would be, because they aren’t sure they can reproduce his success.

    So I think the Mets don’t trade him because a) he has value to them and b) other teams don’t value him as highly.

  4. Tommy2cat July 30, 2012 at 10:57 am
  5. Paul July 30, 2012 at 11:22 am
    If the Mets can get major league-ready talent with star potential for R.A. Dickey, they would be foolish to hang on to him just for his fan-favorite status. He’s 37, and the Mets probably won’t be ready to win anything before 2014.

    But I suspect he’d just bring back some other team’s version of Lucas Duda or Daniel Murphy, and that wouldn’t be worth making the trade.

  6. NormE July 30, 2012 at 11:40 am
    No one on this 25 man roster should be thought of as untraceable. But, I would be most reluctant to trade Wright, Tejada or Dickey.
    Mike Kelm had a good point about the difficulty in getting fair value for R.A. Unlike a younger (27 to 30) stud pitcher, other teams might be leery of trading for an older, knuckleball pitcher. Joe Janish has made the point that the wear and tear on Dickey’s body should not be discounted just because he throws a knuckler.
    Would I trade Dickey? Only if I got back players who could definitely improve the team in the near future.
  7. Andy July 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm
    I think I agree with the general consensus that whether it’s worth trading R.A. will depend what is offered for him.

    But I can’t help thinking that, if I were a contending team right now, I’d pay dearly to add him to my rotation. The Mets have the luxury of thinking about 2014 and 2015 right now — if you’re a half-game back with a ring almost in your grasp, how can you think about the future? The Mets should be able to get a gaggle of high-upside AA and AAA prospects almost ready for the majors, and if they could get that then it would totally be worth it . . .

  8. DaveSchneck July 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm
    We all love Dickey as he is a great underdog story and a guy easy to root for. As NormE says, everyone is tradeable. The problem is that Dickey is worth more to th eMets than he can bring back. They have him locked for $5 mil next year, which is a bargain based on his performance. Unless Toronto will give up their big catching prospect D’Arnaud, or the Orioles give up Bundy, the #1 prospect in all of baseball, neither of which is happening, RA will stay put. And, that’s okay, management will have not “failed” the team by keeping him as he has a good chance of being part of the 2-4 year solution, even at his age.
  9. SiddFinch July 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    I would put him out there in the offseason, see what’s other teams offer, if one of those offers blow Alderson away then trade him.

    He could net some combination of a power OF bat, starting C and a prospect or two. But one of those players acquired has to be All Star or near All Star level.

    Otherwise, keep him. IMHO the only real untouchables on the 25 man roster are Wright, Tejada and Harvey. I’d add Edgin to that list only because he’s a lefty reliever.

    In the case of Wright, IF some team came up with an outrageous 4 or 5 for 1 trade offer that included at least one top 25 MLBer and some high-ceiling top prospects it would be worth consideration. But it would have to be a ridiculous, too good to refuse offer.

    They need to do something though. Because if Duda, Murph and Kirk are in the starting line-up opening day next year it’s going to be a long 2013.

  10. NormE July 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    Excellent points!
  11. Izzy July 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm
    I am clueless as to h you can say that trading Dickey raises the white flag when the horrid excuse for a GM raised the white flag already by sitting on his fat butt and did nothing when while Rome woops mean the Mets burned, no collapsed. dickey won’t be traded because Alderson is inept. Whether you want him here or there, Alderson can’t pull the trigger. So bad he couldn’t even trade for a crappy right handed part time catcher. The only reason he could trade Beltran was because Sabean made it happen.
  12. Gil Reich July 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    If I were a contender, I’d be making the Mets an offer they can’t refuse. I can’t quite understand why they aren’t. The man has an ERA of 3.01 over his 3 years with the Mets with a WHIP of 1.16, and despite a bad month, he’s having a fantastic season. During the postseason he can probably throw on short rest or from the pen between starts. If I’m the Mets I want to keep him. Hell, he may give us another decade. But if somebody offers me great young talent for him, I take it. I can’t trade Wright because he should be a career Met, he’s the Franchise 2. But Dickey? I love him. But he should be on a contender this fall. For the right price, I let him go.
    • Andy July 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm
      I agree with everything you say. Yet, Dickey remains a Met. Why? Perhaps we are wrong, and contenders don’t really want him? Are they concerned about carrying an extra catcher who can handle knuckleballs? Do all the contenders already have enough starting pitching? Do none of them have prospects enough to make the deal worthwhile for the Mets?
      • HobieLandrith July 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm
        If Josh Thole can catch RA Dickey, anyone can catch him.
    • Andy July 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm
      Really seems to me that the Tigers should want Dickey and the Dodgers should want Murphy, each a lot more than the Mets right now. What am I missing?
  13. greg July 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm
    i absolutely love Dickey, but if you are serious about rebuilding there is no way you don’t at least see what you can get, even if you don’t end up pulling the trigger. But he probably has more value to the club as a mentor for the young pitchers coming up and a reliable arm through the rebuild, so they will probably keep him.
  14. Joe H July 31, 2012 at 9:41 am
    I Love RA Dickey. Not only is he a valuable asset to the team because of his play but also because of who he is as a person. At the same time though we need to remember that he is already 37 years of age. He has been extremely consistent for us over the years but I think that since the Mets are in more of a rebuild phase they should try to part with him for some young talent. If were able to move him for a 21 year old pitcher than the Mets should. That 21 year old has the potential to provide years upon years of pitching for the Mets as opposed to Dickey’s maybe 5 years. With him being 14-2 and a serious contender for a CY young his value has sky rocketed and can really land us a top notch prospect.
  15. Dan B July 31, 2012 at 10:38 am
    Willie Mays and Babe Ruth were traded — anybody can be traded. It is a matter of return value. Gee, Neese, Harvey, Wheeler, plus a #5 pitcher equals about 85 wins. The same four plus an ace equals about 95 wins. Every year there are about 20 to 25 pitchers who qualify as an ace. I don’t think any of those four will be a true ace. Dickey is an ace this year. If you think he will be an ace in 2014,15, and 16, you keep him. If you think he has peaked, trade him. I think there are a few great years left in those knuckles.
  16. jerseymet July 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    Dickey should be bundled with Bay and traded for a bag of balls. Dickey may be underpaid by 15 million per year. Bay Is overpaid by 15 million per year. Dickey could help a team win the series. The Mets would get financial relief.
    • Andy July 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm
      So maybe just sell Dickey’s contract to a contender for $20 million. Then release Bay, and pocket a $5 million profit.