New York Mets Make a Solid Deal For R.A. Dickey, Centered Around Catcher Travis d’Arnaud
Good things come to those who wait.
Especially for New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
The Mets had a tremendous trade chip in R.A. Dickey, and Alderson played the market perfectly.
After weeks of intense negotiations with a number of interested parties, the Mets finally found a deal that they liked, a seven-player trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays are going all in this season, smelling a playoff spot in an AL East that could be more wide open than ever.
That's why, after initially deeming him untouchable in trade talks earlier in the winter, the Jays finally budged on the availability of top prospect Travis d'Arnaud.
The 23-year-old d'Arnaud (above) is widely considered the best catching prospect in baseball, and the Mets remained steadfast that any deal for Dickey would have to include d'Arnaud.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos finally relented, understanding that Dickey is the type of player that can put them over the top, and a deal began to form.
Sunday afternoon, the two teams formally agreed on the framework of a deal that would send Dickey, Josh Thole and a minor leaguer to Toronto for d'Arnaud, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, catcher John Buck, and another minor leaguer.
The deal will not be official until Dickey signs a contract extension with the Blue Jays, which Toronto has until December 18 at 2pm to finalize. That seems like just a formality at this point.
Update: Dickey signed a two-year, $25 million extension with the Jays on Monday, 12/17.
Dickey wanted to stay with the Mets, but the Mets understood that they're not going to contend in 2013, and that's why they prioritized trading Dickey over signing him to an extension.
If the deal goes through as reported, the Mets will have their catcher of the future in Travis d'Arnaud (pronounced dar-NO), who grew up in California idolizing Mike Piazza.
After being promoted to AAA last season, d'Arnaud had a .333 AVG, .380 OBP & .595 SLG with 16 home runs in 67 games. He should be ready for spring training after recovering from a knee injury that ended his season early.
Travis d'Arnaud now becomes the first player in MLB history to be traded for two Cy Young award winners before making his MLB debut. The young catcher was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, and was traded for Roy Halladay in December 2009.
Meanwhile, Syndergaard, a 20-year-old right-hander, is one of Toronto's top pitching prospects, and instantly becomes the Mets' best pitching prospect, aside from Zack Wheeler.
Wheeler was also acquired by Alderson in a deal that saw him wait out the market and pounce when a favorable offer came his way, just as he did with Toronto this weekend.
In three years, Alderson has turned a bottom ten farm system into a top ten farm system, an impressive task considering the Mets' lack of resources.
While Dickey will always be a fan favorite in New York, this deal makes a ton of sense for the Mets. Mets fans will love d'Arnaud, especially if he plays like the All-Star he can potentially be.
The Mets may not be a factor in 2013, but they're setting themselves up for a bright future in 2014 and beyond. Today is a great day to be a Mets fan.