I Hope Santa Brings Me This

I kind of like the colors, and the bird is cute. Oh, and if FOX Sports’ sources can be trusted, it appears that R.A. Dickey will be a Toronto Blue Jay.

Per FOX Sports:

The right-hander agreed to a two-year, $25 million extension with the Jays on Monday, according to a major-league source.

His trade from the New York Mets to the Jays will become official once he passes a physical, the source said.

Dickey, 38, accepted the same terms from the Jays that he requested from the Mets, and is now under contract until nearly his 41st birthday.

He already is signed for $5 million next season and now will earn $30 million over the next three years — a below-market price for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.

The trade, as first reported by the New York Post and confirmed by a source, would send Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and a non-elite prospect to the Jays, with the Mets receiving catcher Travis D’Arnaud, right-hander Noah Syndergaard, catcher John Buck and another non-elite prospect.

Interestingly, the report from Toronto suggests that Dickey may be getting more than a $25M extension (Hat tip — pardon the pun — to Walnutz):

As reflected in his hands-on style, Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos prefers to meet players face-to-face whenever an important crossroads arrives. Anthopoulos is believed to have met with Dickey at his home. Reportedly, the Jays have been able to agree on the extension with Dickey, likely for more than the $26 million, two years, he had been seeking from the Mets, but still a bargain for three years compared to recent free agents Anibal Sanchez, Zack Greinke and, assuming Dickey’s higher expected return, than Ryan Dempster.

Regardless, Toronto is extending Dickey, which means he’s out of the Mets’ hand, and we can stop the double-entendre headlines. It also means that 2013 is officially flushed down the toilet in terms of the Mets trying to win, but on the bright side, one small step toward building a club that might resemble MLB-caliber in 2016.

Hey, with a little luck we’ll get to see R.A. — and Jose Reyes — at Citi Field in July1

Your thoughts?

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 December 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm
    You can’t say it is a bad trade because the Mets got a lot back. But the fact that we have to wait until 2016 for a major league caliber club is not fun. One for the amount of time fans have to wait but two because even after waiting 4 seasons these guys might not be anything. I have high hopes for these guys, I truly do. But not as high as it was for Generation K or how about the Hall of Fame OF of Gomez,Martinez and Milledge. I just hate they build only one way, it would be nice if they signed some proven MLB talent to go along with these prospects.
    • Joe Janish December 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm
      Mike I agree with you 100%.
      I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why a team can’t spend money on the 25-man roster AND build the farm simultaneously. Not every FA signing has to be a hamstringing multi-year deal.

      The Mets could have had a legitimately competitive club in ’11, ’12, and ’13 if the Wilpons sold to someone who wasn’t broke.

      • DaveSchneck December 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm
        Joe,
        I am a little confused here. I consider myself a Met fan that is very critical of the ownership, and frankly I don’t trust anything they say. That said, I am sensing from the remarks here that the Mets are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I am as big an RA fan as anyone, but making this deal for the Mets is a no-brainer. That doesn’t mean it will work, we all know the risk associated with prospects and the low odds that even top rated prospects live up to expectations. Even with D’Arnaud not arriving in Flushing until May, we can count the C position as improved (frankly, I don’t know how much worse it could have gotten from 2012). Yes, Dickey leaves a big void, but let’s hold off on writing off the 2013 season until the team is set. They were going to be a long shot for the playoffs even with RA. Now, they may be a little longer, but there is still a lot of the offseason left. I know not to trust anything Jeff Wilpon says, but we can do simple math and there are funds available to fill some of these holes. Like you said above, there is no reason why you can’t build for the future and spend on filling holes and fielding a major league team, one with some developing players, but enough talent to keep the fans interested and have a puncher’s chance at a playoff run. School is still out. Let’s hear this official announcement on the RA deal and then see what else Alderson has in store.
        • Joe Janish December 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm
          OK, let’s wait and see what else Alderson has in store to improve this team, which no longer needs a catcher but still needs an entire outfield, a second baseman, two starting pitchers (at minimum), and at least two bullpen arms.

          I’ll wait, but I won’t hold my breath.

        • DaveSchneck December 18, 2012 at 12:02 am
          Ok, I’m not holding my breath either. However, the have up to $20 million to spend filling holes, and they have more minor league starters than starting spots among their top 4 affiliates. Alderson has stated that he will replace RA with a MLB starter, not Mejia (who isn’t ready), albeit one of lesser pedigree. I will be quite pleased with one MLB starter, a CF/leadoff, a RH OF bat, and a back end bullpen arm. How about dealing an arm or two for Dexter Fowler, controllable for 4 yrs as CF/leadoff? Chris Young may actually be the best of the available starters that is reasonably priced. How about Brandon Lyon and Matt Capps to add some bullpen depth? How about resigning Hairston? That is about $20 mil in salary, only Hairston and Lyons would require a 2 year commitment. What would you think of that? Not the A list, but perhaps respectable to support a develping core.
        • Joe Janish December 19, 2012 at 11:35 am
          If the plan included getting Fowler, it would be a decent plan. But I’m doubtful that would happen. Chris Young doesn’t excite me and I’m not riding the Hairston train; if he hits 20 HR again I’ll be suspicious he found some of his brother Jerry’s old “vitamins.”

          Lyon is essentially Jon Rauch, which is an arm the Mets need. Capps is better than Frank-Frank. So I like those ideas for rebuilding the ‘pen, but can the Mets afford them? How about adding Brian Wilson as well?

    • Izzy December 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm
      Don’t worry about these kids Mike. Dickey showed them the way out. Just go to wilpon’s ego trip Christmas party and say that Wilpon ain’t perfect and you’ll be gone real fast, maybe to a good team too. Ever think that since Dickey didn’t hold the Jay’s up for a king’s ransom that he was making sure he’d be moved as soon as possible. Anyway with Jose a Jay and Dickey a Jay that hat looks great. Hope to see them playing “meaningful” games this Fall, right Fred!
  2. Joe December 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm
    The ownership has misspent its money & this is generally agreed upon, so I don’t understand the confusion, if we are supposed to actually take it as a serious question. With the ownership, spending less money makes sense, since you know, this has been said over and over, they can’t be trusted to sanely spend it. So, conservative there is the safest policy. .

    Also, I do not know that we will “have to wait until 2016 for a major league caliber club” at all. Now it’s 2016. Used to be 2015. Why not 2020?

    What is MLCC anyway? One that has a respective starting five? One that has an infield of Ike Davis et. al.? I was not aware the catcher prospect here is three years away. I heard he might even have got a Sept. call up in 2012 if he wasn’t off an injury. With 40M, when Santana leaves, the teams can get something useful too.

    They spent money on the roster last year — remember those three pitchers? — and you didn’t like them. I guess the idea is spending wisely there. Yeah. That would be nice. Meanwhile, it’s good not to spend badly, as they did for Bay et. al.

    • Joe Janish December 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm
      “The ownership has misspent its money & this is generally agreed upon, so I don’t understand the confusion, if we are supposed to actually take it as a serious question. With the ownership, spending less money makes sense, since you know, this has been said over and over, they can’t be trusted to sanely spend it.”

      By that rationale, the Mets will never spend money as long as the current ownership is intact. Correct? Or will they suddenly become “smart” when there is “flexibility” a year from now?

      Second, isn’t Sandy Alderson supposedly running the show? Or did Jeff Wilpon just make the trade with the Blue Jays? Or, do you think that Alderson also cannot be trusted to spend?

      MLCC is subjective. In my subjective opinion, MLCC means a team has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs.

      They spent money last year, yeah. What? $15M? They really opened up the pocketbook. And yeah, “wisely” spent on Chris Young’s rehab, Jon Rauch, and two years of Frank-Frank.

    • Mike B December 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm
      Conservative is def the Wilpons safest policy but it sure isnt the best policy for the fans or for well being of the team.

      My definition of a MLCC = having just 1 starting outfielder that would start on any other Major league club.

      • Joe December 18, 2012 at 1:07 am
        Duda is not exactly elite — but this is an example of the hyperbole around here that is annoying — other major league teams would very well start him in a corner slot.

        Oh, even if he is not, any evidence they won’t find someone like that in you know like 2015? Whine whine whine.

        • mike B December 18, 2012 at 2:48 am
          Duda wouldnt be able to be the foul boy on some major league teams, his fielding is to shaky. And why do we have to wait to 2015 to see a decent OF.

          I dont want to whine, just would like to see a decent team of MLB players. Today would be great if we havent been rebuilding for 3 years already.

        • Dan December 18, 2012 at 6:53 am
          Not rebuilding for 3 years, just unbuilding to keep the Wilpons afloat.
        • Joe Janish December 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm
          That’s BRILLIANT. Well done, Dan.
        • Joe Janish December 19, 2012 at 11:37 am
          “other major league teams” is the problem with your statement, because that phrase includes the Astros and Marlins, which are actually minor league teams.
  3. Joe December 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    The hat is cute btw … it goes with their money. Loonie indeed.
  4. Dan B December 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    So the Mets got rid of Dickey and his $25 million demand and his independent thinking. They have cleared out a ton of salary over the past few years. After 2013, the payroll could easily be under $75 million because why spend money on free agents in 2013 when you are still years away? And am I the only one who thinks Wright will be traded after next year (and before the big money kicks in) since the Mets will still need more farm system help? The Wilpons must be so happy. But what happens if nobody shows up to Citifield? And nobody watches on SNY? The banks will kill them when they go to refinance. It will make the Madoff suit look like the good ole days. And what happens if nobody cares about the Mets for three years? Can the Wilpons survive another three years of no revenue? Fans say it is too risky to sign big ticket free agents but is it any more risky then relying on Harvey, Wheeler, and D’Arnaud to lead us to the promise land? What if they fail? That will put the team back for another three years waiting for the next wave of prospects. Wow, I am hoping and praying they all make it big because if they don’t the next five years are going to be very dark.
    • Joe Janish December 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm
      Stop with your sensible thoughts! What do you mean, the Mets have to put a MLB team on the field just because they’re asking MLB prices to watch their club / advertise on their TV network? What a silly idea …
  5. Glenn December 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm
    Having money to spend and having something worth buying are two different. Let’s say the Mets had an open check book last yr and bought the best player and best pitcher on the market. Would they have won? For all of you answering yes, you are wrong because the Angels did just that and they were home in October. They bought Hamilton and I still don’t think they’ll win the WS.

    The Yankees way (buy vs develop) worked the past 20 yrs for these reasons:

    1. Steroids extended the shelf life of players.
    2. Teams used the strategy of having a player for 6yrs before losing them to FA so the best players were reaching FA in their prime
    3. The Yankees had 30 to 40% more to spend that everyone else.

    These conditions don’t exist anymore.

    The best players will not (by and large) risk steroids. The Melkys of the world will, but the best won’t for fear of turning into Barry Bonds. Thus player will now decline after 31/32

    Teams now identify and sign their best players thru their 20s so the best players either don’t reach FA or get there in their 30s (Scott Boras excepting)

    The Dodgers, Phillies, Angeles, Cubs, Rangers and one day even the Mets have the money to compete with the Yanks.

    The pt is there’s less prime superstars in their 20s reaching FA and their are more teams with the dough to compete for them. That’s why KC and TOR had to pay a premium in prospects and the Dodgers had to pay a premium in $$ for starting pitching.

    The Yankees are in trouble. Maybe not this yr, but soon. They will have bad, old players, a bad farm system and won’t be able to buy enough players to win.

    Baseball has returned to the era of building from within, esp for starting pitching. So says the WSC Giants.

    This was the right trade at the right time. The Mets have pitching. They needed a C they still need a bullpen but they have some young arms for that and they need some bats in the OF. But next winter they will have a payroll of 70m and will have some $$ for FA’s so long as they are judicious about it.

    • Joe Janish December 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm
      Glenn, you make several good points.

      However, it’s not necessarily about throwing enormous, multi-year deals at superstars. It’s about spending SOMETHING, which the Mets have not done since the dollars stopped falling from the Madoff tree.

      Also – you suggest the Yankees’ “way” won’t work anymore, yet they’ve been to the postseason 17 times in the last 18 years, and finished first in the toughest MLB division in three of the last four years. And by the way, the Yankees’ way is not to buy vs. develop, and never was — even before those conditions you point out stopped existing. It was always about balance of developing and spending.They didn’t buy Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Mo Rivera, Bernie Williams, Wang, Cano, etc.

      The Mets don’t spend and they don’t develop. That “way” never worked in the past, and won’t work in the future.

  6. Mike B December 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm
    As I am excited about D’arnoud and who doesnt like a young stud SP. There is a negative we also just lost a CY award winner. That is going to make things a lot harder for everyone. The BP will be asked to pitch more innings and the other SP’s wont have the saftey net of RA going out and shutting down a team every 5 starts. I think it is going to be a lot like when DW had Carlos Carlos and Cliff around him. His numbers have never been as good and I think you will see Harvey Gee and Niese suffer through DIckey withdrawl all while waiting years and through the growing pains of developing young talent.
  7. hart December 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm
    For the first time in years, I’m starting to feel good about this team again. I think Alderson did a masterful job here, which isn’t easy considering how he’s hamstrung by the underfunded incompetents who employ him. Excited about adding D’Arnaud and Syndergaard (do they consider turning him around for an outfielder?). We would have had a rough 2013 either way; now, at least, we have reason to believe in a bright future on the horizon.
  8. SiddFinch December 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm
    What’s with the Blue Jays obsession with catchers? It seems the third mystery Met is Nickeas, not Flores or Wheeler or Valdespin, names some delusional Jays fans thought might be coming to them. So we lose some catching deadwood to float along with Dickey to Toronto for two stud prospects, and an intriguing 18 yr. old in Becerra. He was the 30th ranked prospect on Jays Journal. They had this to say about him:

    Projection

    The perfect world projection for Wuilmer Becerra would be an everyday left fielder capable of hitting 20 home runs and stealing 20 bases annually.

    2013 Outlook, Risk, and ETA

    The Blue Jays appear to have a relatively universal development path with young Latin America signees. In their first year, they get accustomed to the North American culture and lifestyle in the Gulf Coast League – where the Hispanic community is strong, and in their second year, they make the move to the advanced rookie level.

    Despite playing in just 11 games last year I expect they’ll employ a similar plan with Becerra, so he should open the 2013 season with Bluefield in the Appalachian League. His long term outlook should be classified as extremely high risk, as in addition to the lack of professional reps, there are the questions regarding his hit tool that I touched on above.

    The most optimistic ETA might be late 2016, but the more realistic expectation might be in the second half of the 2017 season.

  9. Dan B December 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm
    I really like this trade but making a trade like this every other year insures fourth place finishes. Mets need a lot more. By the way, Yankees dominated last decade or so by having a good farm system AND adding top free agents. Jeter, Cano, Riveria, Pettitte, etc.. were home grown and resigned at top dollar. Rely on just your farm system is as foolish as just signing free agents. Spending money is not just signing Pujols, it is also truly investing in a farm system (do you think the Mets would take the extra prospect or money towards Buck’s salary?). Why are we playing in Vegas next year? Why not add a decent starter or outfielder for $5 million if it is just one year? We have payroll flexibility now! This is New York and the payroll is under $100 million!
  10. Dan B December 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm
    Joe– I hate to correct you, but the Mets still need a catcher, don’t they? Or are they going start D’Arnaud in the Majors? Otherwise, Buck is our starter and we need a backup. Even if D’Arnaud makes the team out of spring training, do we want Buck? And then who is our backup in the minors?
    • Joe Janish December 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm
      Dan, don’t hate on correcting me – I make a LOT of mistakes!

      I believe John Buck is fine as an everyday starter at least through July. I mean, if this organization thought Josh Thole was a starter …

      My bet is Buck starts the season as the starting C, with Anthony Recker backing up. If Buck hits well, they keep playing him to drum up his value for a deadline deal. At the same time, if D’Arnaud starts out hot in AAA, they bring him up in late May / early June – when another year of control sets in.

  11. Dave December 18, 2012 at 9:56 am
    If only there was a team that played in a major market who recently took a short term hit by trading their staff ace for a bevy or prospects. Do you think Toronto regrets trading Roy Halladay? Yes it’s a tough pill to swallow to lose RA Dickey, but what exactly were the available catcher and outfielder options the Mets were supposed to bring in this offseason? Instead of complaining about the lack of movement, put together a package of free agents the team could have signed to pick up 20 wins in the standing, the minimum they would need to improve on 2012 to make the playoffs in 2013.
    • Mike B December 18, 2012 at 11:34 am
      Mike Napoli and BJ upton were available, but we would have had to beat two teams that actually no a little something about putting a good product on the field to sign them.

      Who can blame the Wilpons they are smart business men dont spend any money and keep raising ticket prices like the teams that do spend money.

      • Mike B December 18, 2012 at 11:36 am
        I would rather have BJ upton Napoli and RA Dickey then the prospects we recieved but that would involve spending money. Before you tell me about the upside of D’arnaurd he projects to be more a mike Napoli then a Posey or Mauer.
      • Dave December 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm
        BJ Upton was worth 3.3 WAR to Andres Torres at 1.7. Mike Napoli was 2.0 compared to Josh Thole’s 0.1. You’ve now spent over $100 million to turn a 74 win team into a 78 win team. Congrats?
        • Mike B December 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm
          Dave do you really believe that if we had BJ Upton and Mike Napoli instead of Thole and Torres we would have only 4 more games last year? Come on man
        • Dave December 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm
          Yup, I do. Upton got on base less than 30% of the time in his quest to jack more homers and Napoli is a 31 year old catcher/first baseman who can’t catch or play first base. He’s also managed to play more than 114 games in a season exactly once in his career to this point.
        • mike B December 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm
          Dave you should get together with Sandy Fred Jeff and throw stats at the wall, something will stick.
        • Dave December 19, 2012 at 9:31 am
          What’s the line from Moneyball? Baseball isn’t played on a computer, it’s played on a field! Something like that. So what you’re saying is that despite the fact he has never even approached the kind of offensive output Jason Bay did in Pittsburgh and Boston, you would give BJ Upton more years and more money? That’s a good plan. I see a lot of potential success there.
        • Mike B December 19, 2012 at 9:47 am
          I agree with that quote, I think Upton has more value watching him play then if you compare him to someone like torres on a stat sheet.

          It doesnt have to be upton but the Mets should be involved when the top tier names are on the board, Instead of talking about cody ross or resigning hairriston lets talk about Hamilton, Upton, bourne, Soriano. I know these guys cant be had for 1.5 million for 2 years like the Mets like but they are New York sports franchise with a new stadium and thier own cable network.

        • Joe Janish December 19, 2012 at 11:45 am
          If I had the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue and assets required to own a MLB team, yes, I absolutely would have signed Upton to more years and dollars than what was given Jason Bay — Upton is younger than Bay was at the time of his signing, has more skills, and plays one of the most important positions on the diamond.

          You don’t need to find 20 wins solely from the FA market, because there are a few wins coming up from the minors (Harvey, perhaps others), you count on Ike Davis improving, and there could be a few trades to make. But yes, there definitely are ways to get many if not all of those wins from the FA market — but a team needs to spend a little and take a few gambles.

        • Joe Janish December 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm
          Buck a backup? Last year Thole was a starter who hit .235 and it was a light, Luis Castillo-like .234. Buck is a career .235 hitter with homerun and extra-base power — and he’ll draw his share of walks. Defensively, Buck is better than anyone we’ve seen behind the dish for the Mets in three years. Buck is the starter until D’Arnaud proves he’s ready.

          Recker is this year’s Nickeas.

          I have a BIG issue with “clearing a spot” for Ruben Tejada – he’s not the type of other-worldly player who you make room for by moving an All-Star and potential top-10 player. Tejada is a nice player who would have had even more value as a 2B and Reyes’ DP partner. The savings on Reyes has already been spent on David Wright, so thinking the Mets will spend dollars on Bourn or the like is a pipe dream.

  12. Dan B December 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm
    Why not do both? Trade Dickey for these prospects and sign an Upton or Bourne? Why not have a decent team for when the farm starts producing? The Met’s farm system is not good enough to win championships on its own.
    • Mike B December 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm
      100% Dan, I dont have a problem with trading Dickey. But not if thats all you are going to do. Dickey could have been the best trade chip anyone has seen in the last 20 years. Not only is he a CY young award winner he cost 10 million a year for 3 years. You cant sign angel pagan for that money so the idea that the Mets front office made this great move and there on the right track is wrong unless they improve the club with FA moves too.
    • Joe Janish December 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm
      I’m glad you brought up BJ Upton. He is a 28-year-old with at least 4 tools who plays CF. What was so “smart” about not even considering signing him? The same “intelligence” of letting Jose Reyes walk.

      Extend Reyes at a discount before he entered his FA year, sign BJ Upton this winter, make this RA trade for D’Arnaud, and the Mets are “strong up the middle” for the next 4 years. A championship club can built around strength up the middle. A team with one awesome corner guy and nothing else makes winning a mountainous task.

  13. Mic December 19, 2012 at 6:49 am
    -Sidd: Thole was RA’s personal catcher. Its a no brainer to package them. PLUS Thole got a massive pay raise AND his spat with Beato probably still has repercusions in the clubhouse. Nickeas…insurance for Thole.

    - I think RA is a big move for the Jays. I think he really will be a difference maker for them.

    Joe: I think Buck is more of a backup ( a new Nickeas) who I see as Harvey’s personal catcher. But I think the Mets still need a catcher not named Recker. A .200 hitting catcher will not be acceptable.

    - As for Reyes: His relevance to the discussion is Alderson did not recover ANYTHING for his loss. frankly I like Tejada and his potential and have no issues with opening that spot for him. But I think spending that savings on’ Mike Bourn’ or like.