As the Jays continue trying to work out a contract extension with R.A. Dickey, ahead of Tuesday’s 2 PM ET deadline, here’s as much reaction to AA’s second blockbuster of the off-season as anyone could possibly need…

ESPN Stat & Info sees lots to like about Dickey for the Jays– including the fact that the club now has three of the top four fielding pitchers in baseball, per DRS over the last three years, with Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Romero. They also point out that, in a horrifically small sample size of six starts, since his New York renaissance began, he’s 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA against the Jays’ AL East rivals. Dickey, they add, has been the eleventh best pitcher in baseball over the past three season, per rWAR (fWAR ranks him 30th), with Josh Johnson 10th and Mark Buehrle 16th.

The New York Post finds the rare evaluator who isn’t a big d’Arnaud fan. He explains, “I liked him, but he was third in the Eastern League on my list as far as catchers. He’s defensively solid and he’s got some power, but to be honest I wasn’t overly impressed with the guy.” We get hung up on prospects’ ceilings, but if there are enough guys in the Jays organization who think d’Arnaud won’t quite hit his, the difference between him and Arencibia certainly gets a bit smaller– and maybe the club thinks there’s something to the  notion that catchers’ bats develop slower, meaning we may still see more out of JPA, and may be farther from the best of d’Arnaud.

Ken Rosenthal zeroes in on the timing aspect of the deal as well, in his reaction post at Fox Sports, but makes clear he sees more to like than just that. “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,” he explains. “He’s athletic, he logs innings, he throws strikes. A rival executive puts it best, saying that Dickey has “found something.’ “ Rosenthal adds that the Jays balked last year at dealing Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino and Jake Marisnick– all who have been now dealt (along with other pieces) for a much more transformative return.

Jason Parks joins Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller on BP’s Effectively Wild podcast to discuss the deal, expressing his shock– as a prospect guy– at the talent the Jays are giving up, and noting that the Jays must believe there’s something to the notion that Dickey may be dynamite pitching in a Dome. He wonders whether the Jays could have made a play for David Price, given the package that they’re willing to give up here. It’s not an unfair question, I guess, and it’s one I’ve been hit with on Twitter a number of times over the last couple of days– with Price’s name sometimes replaced with Halladay, Cliff Lee, “someone better,” or “someone younger”– and… uh… yeah, probably not. If something was available that was better and could be done for this package, we don’t think the GM who makes 20 calls to one is going to sniff it out?

At Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan writes about the leverage Dickey has in his negotiations with the Jays, given his knowledge of how desperately they obviously want him. There’s another side to it, of course: his fallback option is to return to the Mets (likely temporarily) and to his $5-million option. “An agent not involved with the negotiations suggested he would seek a three-year extension with vesting options for a fourth and fifth season,” he writes. “A compromise, another official said, could include tearing up Dickey’s one-year, $5 million contract for 2013 and giving him a new deal somewhere in the range of three years and $38 million.” Sure… why not?

The New York Times looks at the “hefty price” the Mets will pay to pry a couple of gilt-edged prospects away from the Jays. “Alderson’s decision to make this deal will engender a mixed reaction from Mets fans, who embraced Dickey not only as one of the lone bright spots on an underperforming team, but also as a singular character among professional athletes,” Andrew Keh writes.

Mike Wilner lays down a tonne of words in favour of the deal, over at Sportsnet, pointing out how little they cared about big time prospects in the days of Jeff Kent and Steve Karsay, and going through some BA top ten lists from the last decade, noting all kinds of busted careers even at the very top of the industry consensus. Importantly, he also notes that the club is not “all in,” as many have been rather casually suggesting, since there’s still a tonne of young talent coming through the system– Sanchez, Gose, Osuna, Smoral, Norris, Nolin, Tirado, Barreto, and more.

Wilner’s colleague Shi Davidi sees the seeds of this deal in some of the possibilities Alex Anthopoulos left open when speaking in the wake of the Miami trade. ”I still think we can make more trades involving prospects, and assuming we don’t trade everybody, still have a pretty good group of players. We’re still going to be active in Latin America going forward, we’re still going to have a top draft pick again (No. 10 this year), there are still ways to replenish,” the GM said last month. “We built up enough inventory that we could handle one more big trade if we needed to.”

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun wonders if JP Arencibia has just gone from trade bait to one of the most important players on the club, as the last catcher standing has little in the way of cover behind him on the depth chart. While elsewhere in the Sun, Joel Columby gives five reasons to like Dickey, and Ken Fidlin weighs in on a deal he acknowledges looks somewhat crazy in terms of the talent and years of control being given up, but that gives the Jays such big extra push over the next few years that it’s simply hard to argue against. Additionally, Mike Rutsey suggests that Dickey provides a fantastic bit of insurance in case Romero tanks again– perhaps another reason for the urgency.

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail applauds the deal, in part by citing a study from Alan Nathan of the University of Illinois, which showed that showed that Dickey has been “throwing more than just one knuckleball. He uses different knuckleballs in different counts, and the conventional wisdom is that in an environmentally neutral, indoor facility such as the Rogers Centre, Dickey would be even more effective.” Of the deal, he concludes that, “on purely baseball terms, it sure seems defensible.”

Both John Lott and Bruce Arthur weigh in on the transaction over at the National Post.

John Sickels happens to have his Mets top 20 prospects list up at Minor League Ball, and the guys occupying spots one and three on the list are the (almost) newly-acquired d’Arnaud and Syndergaard.

Dirk Hayhurst is befuddled by fans bellowing about prospect hype all summer, then bellowing now that the Jays have dealt so much from their farm.

Richard Justice of thinks the AL East is there for the taking. “If you look closely enough, you can find a reason not to believe in the Blue Jays in 2013,” he writes. “But there are far more reasons to believe.”

At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron looks at “going for broke, Toronto style,” contrasting this deal with the Royals’ acquisition of James Shields, and explaining that the reason he’s been hard on KC but not AA is that the Jays’ “prior moves make all the difference in the world.”

Over at Mop Up Duty they dip into the ol’ ESPN Stats & Info data to scout Dickey.

Lastly, MLB Trade Rumors rounds up a bunch of other reactions to the deal, including Jim Bowden’s saying that Sandy Alderson received the maximum possible return for Dickey, and Rob Bradford of Boston’s, who breaks down the rotations in the AL East, and polls readers– three quarters of whom, at the time of this writing, felt the Jays’ was the best.


Image via @Reever29.

Comments (264)

  1. I’m going to love watching this guy pitch.

  2. Damn, you’re up early! Good timing too, I just finished reading the near 600 comments on the last post.

  3. I want that image on a t shirt. Stat.

  4. This deal hinges almost entirely on how long Dickey remains at an elite level. As the ESPN Stats and Info piece shows, he has been a top shelf pitcher for the past three years.

    It’s entirely possible that Dickey will be a better pitcher than Price over the next three years. He was better than damn near everyone last year. Now, Dickey doesn’t profile as YOUNG and BIG and STRONG like Price. The possibility of locking up Price for ten years is pretty appealing, but for those saying “why not use those pieces to go for Price?”, it’s not immediately apparent that giving up this package + more for price would make the team better over the next 3-4 years than having Dickey will.

    • and seriously, its the Rays.. they should look elsewhere to do business. Even if its Price. fucking rays…

    • Holy shit jays of thunder calm down on the Tabby-like comments and I believe its spelt SSCCCHHHTRONNG

      • Calm down? I didn’t even use an exclamation mark. I’m just making the point that there seems to be a notion that because Dickey doesn’t have the physical and demographic makeup of an ace, his accomplishments on the field are of a lesser value. This is in contrast to his actual results, which are in the same neighbourhood as a player, Price, who some are suggesting would be a far superior option. Calm enough?

  5. this team will be goddamn exciting to watch, which is something the city sorely needs.

    perfect time to have a squad featuring bautista, lawrie, reyes, dickey, and EE dino arm.

    especially compared to the rest of the AL east. aging and boring.

  6. well the starting rotation could have a well rounded attack, A couple of hard throwing starters, a soft tosser, and a shitballer, and Rickey Romero.. who if he can get his shit together would probably be the best #5 you could have in a rotation. I like it.. it should give the Jays a chance to win most nights. one would think.

  7. Yes, but what do YOU think, Stoeten?

  8. If there is one thing that we have to give AA credit for, it is that he developed a plan and actually had the stones to follow through completely with that plan. It is such a welcome change from the JP Ricciardi years where the team seemingly had no clear direction at all, and if they did have a plan there was only a half-assed attempt at following through.

    • Agreed. In a way, he’s been saying all along that this was his plan.

      • this wasn’t his plan but he adjusted beautifully. His plan was to win 81+ games last year and build slowly. The team performance last year forced him to re-assess,he did and he put his nuts on the table. Kudos to AA.
        hat tip to me for calling the acquisition of Dickey the day after Alderson stated he was open to trading him. This is trade AA had to make.

    • This. Exactly.

  9. Dirk Hayhurst apparently missed the part where, while bellowing about prospect hype all summer, much of that bellowing was to move those prospects for star talent.

    • It is true however that many of the people lobbying to trade some prospects and quit hoarding them all are now complaining too many have been moved. I think thats what he meant.

      Really tough to see some of these guys go but what a change of events

  10. I think that this deal can’t really be fully weighed until we find out about the other players and how the contract extension played out.

    If the Jays are giving up a prospect that’s far from MLB, but receiving an arm that’s near MLB, then this deal could potentially provide additional support in case a couple of pitchers go down with injuries.

    it’s hard not to like this for both teams, but the Jays paid a hefty price.

  11. Olney’s got some fun quotes in his column today…

    “Talent evaluators who have heard Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos say no to possible deals for catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud in the past are stunned — completely shocked — that Toronto has said yes to a to a proposed trade for R.A. Dickey.

    There’s even more to this deal than d’Arnaud: Noah Snydergaard, regarded as the Jays’ best pitching prospect by some teams, would be the cherry on top of this deal for the Mets, if it goes through.

    “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.

    Prospects have never had more value in the sport than they do now, and d’Arnaud is viewed as a difference-maker, a catcher who hits and has a lot of skills behind the plate, and is projected as someone who will play in the big leagues for more than a decade. Through the Blue Jays’ 35-year history — including the glory years fostered by Pat Gillick –players like d’Arnaud have been the heart and soul of the franchise.”

  12. Does the club have any say in the opening/closing of the dome? For example, nice sunny day, and Dickey is pitching. He’s more effective in an indoor environment, ere go, its to Toronto’s advantage to shut the lid. Can they do that?

  13. Nothing beats a morning snack of Dickey news.

  14. I have no idea why Blue Jays fans are getting mad. Why not go all in? We’ve had MANY prospects that didn’t pan out and we couldn’t trade em cause we held on to them for too long. I know D’Arnaud is a blue chip prospect but still. AA and the gang have done an amazing job at scouting, this isn’t the be all end all for us and prospects. Remember we still have many left AND the 10th overall pick in this upcoming draft. I might sound naive, but I’m excited about what this potential rotation could do for us.

    • +1

    • Agreed, This is the time. Go for it and don’t do it half-assed.

    • The concern is not with going “all-in”. It is whether we can get a better return for just about our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect. What would it “cost” to replace those two? Add that to the 5M. If someone straight up offered 15M for those two prospects would you accept? (Probably can’t buy players like that, but just an example)

      To me they are worth well over 10M combined, plus the 5M salary. So at what point should we just hire a free agent?

      Now I’m measuring that against two important points: (1) The guy’s knuckleball might be just awesome in the dome (even with the roof open) and (2) Come the playoffs, having “aces” becomes huge. An Edwin Jackson might have a solid year and be worth almost as much as Dickey for you. But if it is game 7 of the World Series, you want an absolute ace. Rotation “depth” and the overall roster quickly take a back seat to “who can throw out the best pitcher TODAY”.

      • The problem with free agents is, the inflated price tag with all of them. I’d rather us not go after an Anibal Sanchez type (I know he signed with Detroit) and end up paying him an average of $15 mil for something like 5-6 years. But yeah, I totally agree with you to some extent on that.

    • Also good … signing Dickey will get the Jays payroll to an all-time high. The Jays are a division inside a large corporation, and as such they want their budget expanded as much as possible, because that’s the way it works in large organizations. If Department Y spent X dollars last year, then it stands to get the same next year. Going forward AA will have financial resources comparable to that of Boston and NYY, which is an entirely new ball game. Maybe not entirely new because it was something like that in1990-93 — when they were winning championships.

    • I assume it’s because Blue Jays fans generally need something to bitch about, unfortunately. The very same people that were all for “winning now” last offseason and the offseason before that, and lambasting AA for “hoarding prospects” and the like, are the very same people that now have such raging hard-ons for d’Arnaud and Syndergard, neither of whom they’ve even see play.

      I don’t know that I love this move, quite frankly, but what I do like is that AA is clearly doing something decisive. He’s choosing a path and going for it, as opposed to vacillating between winning now and keeping the future blindingly bright in the farm.

      Guaranteed though, if things fall apart (which they certainly could), people will whine like the children they are, lamenting the loss of the great white hope, d’Arnaud. And even if things end successfully, god forbid Syndergard turns into a front-line starter in the future. The armchair GMs will all take issue with AA not having his crystal ball when this trade occurred. The very same armchair GMs that want to win now.

      Whatever … people suck.

    • Must say, the Jays off-season doings are just about quelling my anger at the NHL…but not quite. AA has to be congratulated, if only for trying to get some champion-caliber players together – perhaps MLSE can pick up some pointers.

  15. I still don’t think this will all be real to me until openning day when i see Reyes and all the others in Blue Jays uniforms.

  16. Well Jays fans, AA put another present under the tree for us. Samberg, Timberlake . . . hit it:

    (Drabek, Hutchison, Happ and Cecil are now potential trade pieces that are closer to MLB-ready than Syndegaard, and AJ Jimenez is our new Great OBP Hope at C – plus he has a great CS%)

    • Drabek = 0 value. Hurt and c/n throw the ball over the plate
      Hutchison= near 0 Value. Hurt and gone til 2014 and w/h to build upvalue
      Cecil = near 0 Value. Shitballer and now basically a LOOGY
      Happ = had value. Was a SP on Houston and more or less a baqck end on Tor and is lefthanded increasing value. He could very well be traded especially if AA signs a similar pitcher suchas CV

      • Disagree on Hutchinson. He was holding his own as a 21ish year old in the AL east. That has value – it just may take until 2014 to unlock it.

      • I for one think Hutchison has a very good chance of recovering his former value.

        But as of the present I don’t know if he has a ton of value. Hopefully the recovery goes well.

        • They should hold onto Hutchison until he’s out of options. He’s a very nice 6th SP, and maybe more.

  17. Never mind the wailing and gnashing of teeth about lost prospects. It has been rightly pointed out the the Jays have about a 3-year window to maximize contributions from their core of Bautista/Encarnacion/Reyes/Beuhrle/Dickey/Melky so now is the time to go for it.

    AA will continue to restock the system with prospects – I would imagine they would shift scouting resources back to the amateur side now. I don’t think we have to worry about the Jays going all Marlins on us with a boom and bust cycle.

    Flags fly forever. Hopefully the Jays can hang another one in the next year or two. Worry about after that later.

  18. Sign Swisher.

    • Swisher wants way too much $

      • I know, and it isn’t going to happen but one can hope! imagine 1,2,5 and 9 all switch hitters.

        • That would be surreal, we pretty much already look like a video game team ahahha. Plus, we wouldn’t need Lind anymore!

          • Lind would make a great ‘LH bat of the bench’. plus with Swisher’s versatility to play the Outfield, if Bautista or Melky is injured at some point, Swish goes to outfield and Lind takes over 1B.

    • Why? Do we need more OF’s?

      Given payroll is going up again with this deal, why waste resources on something the Jays don’t need?

      • He can also play 1B.

        • Swisher plays an excellent first base.

          He brings a lot to the table; yet in saying that he is about to get seriously over paid

          • We would sign him for the right price, but I guarantee you he’ll look at our “right price” and die of laughter.

          • Swish also jumps for balls that I could catch laying down. Super down grade in the field. I would go as far as saying that Thames was better in the field than Swish. At least when Thames missed a play, you could see that he beat himself up over it, whereas Swish just laughs about it. Boy’s got no hustle…

          • y’all are really starting to piss me off now.
            I PLAY FIRST BASE. period.
            remember Carlos Delgado?
            I’m the new Delgado.

    • Swisher’s maybe a year from Johnny Damon-status…begging for work, and probably off to Japan…

  19. No #Jeff updates?

    • There is an obvious need for a parallel post on the progression Archi’s family dynamics (aka, the Jeff/Chris tension, Noah turning into an alcohol mule, etc.).

  20. Stoeten the Hayhurst link is going to a Google search page.

  21. I’m impressed with the fact that AA was smart enough to ask for Josh Thole, Dickey’s personal catcher. It’s a difficult pitch for catcher to learn how to catch, and JPA would have likely struggled mightily to adjust. Thole also is a left-handed bat, giving Gibbons platoon options. He’s not really much more than a solid back-up, but still is an important part of this trade to ensure that Dickey is a great success in Toronto.

    • I agree. And I hope to god we aren’t covering the salary difference with Buck. People keep saying “the Marlins will pay it” but I don’t see how that matters. That is our money – if we give it away it is the same as giving away any other 6M.

    • +4 (knuckles)

      It also mitigates the possibility of JPA regressing in other areas (general defence, game calling, offensive production), in what is a very pivotal year for him in terms of solid progression, if he is affected by struggles with the DickeyBall ™.

    • Knowing JPA and his lackluster defense, every knuckleball would be an adventure for all of us watching.

    • I’m surprised noone has really mentioned the Thole factor. He is quite a good hitter (less power but higher obp than JPA) and any catcher with experience going knuckles deep is a huge asset.

  22. I’m not really sure how to cheer for a Toronto team that’s actually good and expected to win… I’ve been so accustomed to waiting for the future that this off-season seems entirely surreal.

    • I was born in 93. I shit you not…there hasnt been a Toronto team this good in my lifetime.

      • So YOU’RE the one to blame… :)

      • You obviously have not come out to Etobicoke to witness the magic that is my Don Bosco Eagles the last few years, especially this season. I encourage you to donate to this worthy charity to keep the championship train rolling.

        Also, please make sure you stop by DECO Labels for all your business card and printing needs – you may see me working the machines and front desk in 2013, but it will allow me more time to plan my spread offense.

        (that’s the screaming eagle sound I randomly emit)

        • This post has left me with so many questions…

        • LMFAO!!!! Fuckin’ awesome post!

          RL, ‘Rob Ford’ was the mayor of Toronto who just got booted from office by a judge for conflict of interest violations. He also was notorious for running on a platform of ‘stopping the gravy train’ at Toronto City Hall, only to add cars to said train when he actually entered office. This included, but was not limited to:

          - Leaving early from/arriving late to/not showing up at city council meetings because he continued to coach Don Bosco, a high school football team in Etobicoke.
          - Essentially kicking paying passengers off of not one, but two, TTC buses during a rain storm so that the buses could pick up the football players after a game.
          - Directing city staff to make several repairs/improvements to the streets/sidewalks in front of his family printing business (the DECO reference) in time for a party celebrating an anniversary for DECO’s operations.

          • LOL of course, looks like Rob Ford is trying to find other things to do with his time nowadays. I cant believe I didnt get that -__-

  23. I still feel as if the terms of the deal aren’t accurate yet..or maybe I’m just hoping. It’s definitely a big price to pay, as great as having Dickey is.

    • I just hope that we get a big time piece coming back. Something like Parnell or Wheeler/Harvey. I know its unlikely, but it would make the entire thing look so much better.

  24. Regarding the “no depth behind JP” thing, he REALLY needs to work on keeping his god damn throwing hand behind his back while receiving. I absolutely hate when he starts drifting it forward and risking it getting hit by a foul tip. Just lazyness. Whether we like it or not, we’re gonna need him this season.

    • +1
      That is a finer point of the position that a lot of people seem to overlook. It leaves him open to injury via the bat/foul tip, it also tips off runners against the throw, and with JP’s lack of arm strength, he’ll need all the deception he can get when trying to throw a runner out. I like JPA, I dont think we have anything to worry about, and it is so obvious that he wants to be here, even before the Miami trade, any player that wants to be here and tries to improve is a plus in my books anyways.

  25. I would like to know what kind of axe to grind that “talent evaluator” that said D’Arnaud was the third best catcher in the Eastern league has. He won the league MVP that year. He had a wRC+ of around 150. Third best CATCHER is pure bananas.

  26. Serious question here: how come AA is going for it this season when last season he wouldn’t sign Gonzales or Latos because the price asked was too high? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitching. I’m thrilled with what has happened. But last off-season Ricky was coming off a pretty good year, Morrow was looking ok. Bautista had had another excellent year. No one knew what the Injury God had in store for us. Team looked reasonably fine. Was it just the increase in attendance? Maybe we should have forced all relatives and friends to go with us to the games a couple of years ago!

    • Rogers simply didnt wanna fork over the money. They told AA how they wanted to see more fans in the seats before they opened their wallets. This year we drew more than 200K fans than we did last year, that’s why they allowed Alex to start spending.

      • But previous to that Beeston was saying that the money was there and that all AA had to do , when the time was right, was make his case.

    • The AL East was a lot stronger last year. In the course of a year, the Yankees have gotten older, and it seems less reluctant to spend, the Red Sox have gone from contender to rebuilding to “I don’ t know what their doing but their sure in limbo,” the Rays have traded their #2 starter and their offense is seemingly anemic, although knowing them it probably won’t matter, and the Orioles, well their the Orioles. Do we really expect them to go 29-9 in 1 run games and 16 straight extra inning games this year like last year? I sure don’t. Their wizardry is sure to run out soon. The time to pull the trigger, if any, is probably now.

    • Gonzalez and Latos werent free agents they couldnt be signed.

      And AA apparently went to the end on Latos but Cincy seemingly matched up better in trade.

      Gonzalez was better than a lot of people thought he was gonna be last year.

      Perhaps AA learned from those deals that the give would have to be great to aquire studded pitching in the future and didnt balk second time around.

      • Chanse, I know. But the other teams wanted exactly the prospects that were dealt just now. So that’s what I meant by ‘price’.

        • Another year of D’arnaud (including knee injury) and Syndergaard in the minors likely gave AA a greater comfort level as to the ceiling and/or likely development potential of these two (and others in the Jays system) top end prospects.

    • The Marlins fire sale opportunity was being assembled (thank you, and sorry, to FLA taxpayers), not presented, last year. Without that, AA would likely have been much more measured in his approach this offseason, biding his time while looking for another club to make a huge trade with.

      Padres? / Rockies?…not Red Sux as they are in-division, maybe Phillies (though they may be too familiar with the Ninja). Just a thought…

    • I’m only guess, but… EE’s emergence gave the team a second legit star bat. I think the Marlin’s trade also has expedited things. There was no way to foresee a trade that big coming together. If it had just been a deal for Johnson, this offseason might have been another one of incremental change.

      With that said, I think the blowback from the fanbase about inaction, bad optics of Farrell leaving and the team falling apart in the second half all placed higher pressure on AA than he had felt previously, and that could be the greatest single reason.

      Lastly, prospect values inflate as they near MLB ready. It’s also possible he was just waiting for his assets to appreciate in order to be able to get the maximum possible MLB-level return when dealing them.

      • @ Jays of Thunder

        I agree. I think the whole Farrell clusterfuck provided enough damage to the brand that Rogers finally opened their wallets. Yes, attendance was up which was nice, but I can’t think that was the only reason we all of a sudden got a hugely increased payroll and a roster full of all-stars. The AL looked weak enough last year that the Jays could have loaded up if they were able to do so. The Marlins trade gave us a huge impetus. But the Jays could have gone for Darvish last year to kick-start the team and they didn’t. I think Farrell’s antics actually did us a big favour, and if that’s the case, Thank You John Farrell!

        • EVERYTHING is different from last year. EE has emerged. The rotation flopped big time (except Morrow). Attendance was up. But bad PR (Farrell, bad season) was threatening those gains. Miami wanted to do a fire sale. Prospects came into their “peak” value period.

      • +2

    • Yeah, it’s a lot easier to look in retrospect and think that the Jays should have made the move for Gio because he was so awesome last year but, still, they should have made the mvoe for Gio.

    • It’s entirely possible that the prospects the Jays gave up now didn’t have as much value a year ago.

      Hechavarria made the MLB
      d’Arnaud put up a beastly offensive season, until he was injured
      Marisnick was getting noticed
      Syndergaard had his best season, but was only in Lansing
      ^ same for Nicolino
      DeSclafani is a lottery ticket right now

      Most of these prospects have the appearance right now of selling high.

    • I still think the poor publicity with Farrells exit was the tipping point that made this the go year (amongst other factors of course).

    • Farrell pissed them off. I really think that had something to do with it.

    • At some point or other you have to look at what AA and Beeston were saying all along:. That they had talked to Rogers and all agreed that the money was there when the time was right.

      At ST the Jays had Drabek, Hutch , Alvarez as raw rookies and wanted to see how they’d develop before they went out with their wallets open and their prospects ripening.

      As it turned out they found out that the 3 rookie pitchers, even if they had pitched the whole season would’ve been a bit below average and probably would’ve prompted AA to do maybe one or two trades or FA signings.

      But it was probably to the Jays benefit that Drabek, Hutch and Perez went down, and Morrow suffered his oblique injury, Alvarez was so-so, and RR was just plain shitty.

      On a normal team there would’ve been a call to AAA and the major league team would have to make do with what came up. The injuries and sub par performance pointed out a GLARING void of pitching between the Jays and AA New Hampshire, and I think that was why it happened. I think also that AA was surprised at the response after an innocent inquiry as to the availabilty of JJ.
      IMO that was the impetus to “go for it” this winter.

  27. The thing that me has confused the most is the notion that if the Jays championship window (3-5) years runs out and they don’t have a World Series, that they will plunge into another 20 years of mediocrity. Do the fans not realize that the Jays have effectively changes the landscape of their club? As long as Rogers is in charge and willing to commit, the Jays can spend money in the 2nd tier of teams in terms of payroll. (Not Yankees or Dodgers big, but surely Tigers, Angels, and Cubs big) Also, while they have emptied out the top tier of their farm system they still have depth, especially pitchers like Sanchez, Osuna, Norris, Nolin, and heck even McGuire if he can rebound and eventually reach his #3 or #4 starter ceiling. As long as people show up in droves the next 3-5 years, I see no reason why Rogers would suddenly drop them from a $125 million+ payroll team back to a $85 million dollar payroll team. Maybe its just wishful thinking, but I don’t see this trade as boom or bust as some people.

  28. You hear a lot of hype about D’Arnaud but when you read his scouting reports from sites like BP and Fangraphs, the consensus seems to be that he is merely good, for a catcher. Hardly the Posey-Weiters prospect Jays fans might seem to think he is or want him to be. He’ll probably be good, just not a star. I’m comfortable giving that up.

    Also, one of the New York papers opined that it would take three years before the Mets will know what they have with the Toronto prospects. Toronto just does not have that kind of time with the team they’ve constructed.

    • Don’t forget the injury issues he’s already had so young in his career. Im not saying that it will or it won’t have an impact on him in the future, just something to think about.

    • Darnaud is major league ready now. And few or nobody should be compared to a guy like Posey. But that doesnt mean Darnauds not a future ALL STAR

      Syndergaard will start in 2014

      I think 3 years is a stretch IMO

      • Syndergaard might make the big leagues in late 2014, but it won’t be for a full season. 2015 is his expected first year.

    • He’s good, I know we want to hope these guys all disappear into obscurity by I really doubt it in his case. Good fielding catchers that can hit for average just don’t come along that often.

  29. Things I learned today:
    Dickey’s walk-up music is the Game of Thrones theme song. Maybe that’s where he gets his 80 want from.

  30. Welp, this is now the off-season to which Anthopoulos will leave his legacy me thinks, for good or bad. It’s crazy how the Jays went from a complete shit team to this kind of wild transformation in three years.

  31. Notice there is zero of talk Adonys Cardona these days when people refer to the remaining parts the Jays have in their prospect pool.

    What happened to that guy?

    • I believe his secondary stuff is not developing as quickly as hoped for. He’s still extremely young though.

    • About the only kid we do hear about without digging is Osuna. And we’ll probably hear a lot more about him in the next 2 years.
      But Cardona (18) Cenas (18) Lugo (17) and Labourt (18) are all very young and we wont hear a lot IMO until they play at Bluefield, Lansing or Dunedin. I think at this point they’ve all (except fot Osuna) just finished a season in the DSL.

  32. New York, I want your Dickey……

  33. they couldn’t get brett anderson for that haul?

    • Dickey > Brett Anderson

    • Dickey will pitch about the same amount of innings that Anderson spends on the DL every year, ~200.

    • Oh seeing what was given for Trevor Cahill you have to think TDA and Nose would have been enough to get a deal done somehow but who knows. Oakland aquired a lot players in trading Cahill and Gio last year. Perhaps Beane woulda been content to sit this one out. I believe he snagged a young catcher in one of those deals. TDA may not have made sense

  34. Did Thole catch Dickey?

  35. Does anyone else realize that we just acquired “a Dickey and a Thole” (say it out loud)

  36. one think i don’t think i’ve read, is that with the jays having so many pitchers injured last year, how nice is it to have a guys that if very unlikely to injure his arm. The odds this guys every sees james andrews are about 1/5000

  37. R. Eh. Dickey!!!

  38. Buster’s thoughts on our rotation and lineup:

    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

    Their everyday lineup should be pretty good, too:

    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

    • sub Lind for Nick Swisher switch hitter, and we’re set!

    • Regardless of the order or the rotation, Morrow *has* to follow Dickey.

      Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

    • Pretty crazy that Lawrie and Rasmus get pushed that far down in the order. A year ago we were counting on them to break out in a big way in order for the team to succeed. Now they just have to be decent.

      • Agreed, gives them a great chance to succeed without the pressure.
        Said before I think Lawrie or Cleetus (hopefully both) breaks out hard this year without the glare of the spotlight.

  39. My god i hate greg zaun,what a douche.

  40. Griff says deadline not needed for extension

  41. Does anyone think that trading D’Arnaud was AA’s plan all along and he never ever considered trading or offered JPA? Think back to before the winter meetings and after the Marlin’s trade, when JPA was being badgered on Twitter and also by the press about whether he would be the staring catcher on opening day? JPA, in an unguarded moment said (and I’m paraphrasing) “If you knew what I knew, you would be comfortable too” This led to speculation on whether AA had given him a verbal assurance and later AA took plans to explain that there were no guarantees that anybody would not be traded etc. In hindsight, AA probably had assured JPA in confidence, not knowing that JPA would let the cat out of the bag. JPA reaching out to Josh Johnson after the Marlin’s trade, asking for video to study does not sound like a catcher who is anything BUT assured that he is the opening day catcher. JPA’s conspicuous presence at the winter meetings in Nashville, interviews on Sportsnet and the FAN lends further evidence to the fact that he was most definitely assured AA had chosen him over TDA. For all we know, JPA might actually be part of the Jays contingent that is wooing Dickey and selling the team to him, given that both of them are Nashville’s residents. AA just out-ninja’ed everyone when he made everyone think that he would never give up TDA driving up his value but for whatever reason, he feels comfortable giving up on him in favor of JPA.

    • AA politely put down that notion. EVERYONE is available for a price and AA will at least listen on anyone. This is just how it worked out. Odds are AA offered JPA and the Mets turned it into d’Arnaud.

      • He may have listened, but the evidence of JPA’s gung-ho attitude and public pronouncements lend credence to the fact that he knew that his chances of being the anointed catcher were pretty high.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if AA had no intention of keeping D’Arnaud once he got injured.

      • I would.

        • You can hope the prospects turn into Eddie Zosky, Josh Phelps, Kevin Ahrens, and Gabe Gross but the reality is, scouting is better and one or two of these guys will probably find their potential. That said, I still make this trade and most blue blooded Jays fans do too.

    • it was reported that the initial offer for dickey was JPA and Gose, but was rejected…so your statement doesnt hold true. unless the reports were not true.

    • Never had a problem with JP behind the plate – gets the job done, rather quietly, and with his power, could become quite valuable in the run to the pennant.
      I think the bigger question is Lawrie at 3B – can he control his mental fuck-ups on the base paths and direct his energy towards becoming a complete ball-player??
      Rasmus should be further trade-bait……go AA, go!

      • How many times did he scream at an ump after that suspension? The guy is teachable. You just need the right teacher.

  42. Griff’s saying Dickey’s already agreed to an extension and just waiting for medical:

    • Knowing the Jays, that would make the most sense to me. It really would make little sense in going through all of this without having Dickey on board first.

  43. this is encouraging (from Griffin):

    Sources are now saying that negotiations with Dickey have ended successfully at an affordable rate and that the next step before an announcement can be made is for Jays’ medical staff to examine the righthander at their spring training headquarters in Florida.

  44. Just because I was giggling to myself when I thought of John Farrell.

    SUCK IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. isabellareyes – are you on twitter?

  46. Canuckleball! tm

  47. Is everyone convinced Syndergaard is a piece in this trade? It seems are relying on “sources” at this point versus anything official and I’m not 100% convinced (though perhaps it’s just denial).

    TDA seemed to be since the beginning and I trust that one.

  48. So now with the Jays losing #1/#2/#4/#5/#7 prospects this season (D’Arnaud, Marsinik, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Hech) it really hurts the prospect pool. However that being said The Jays really have few holes on the major league roster for the next 3-4 years. Considering how well AA built up the system last go around 2 years he added (D’Arnaud, Gose, Drabek, Smoral, Stroman, Davis, Syndergaard, Sanchez, Nicolino, Hech, Norris, Marsinik, Nolin, Lawrie etc.) I think it is fairly safe to say that this current roster allows him 3 years to perform the same re stocking of the system.

    10th pick, international free agents, if JJ walks (compensation pick), he has proven to be creative with comp picks in the past, then with the spending in last years draft, lets see what he thinks of over the next three seasons.

    I also hope that the prospect for prospect at the end of this deal is a clear upgrade for the Jays. Maybe Anderson/Smith Jr for that Nimmo kid?

  49. i think they should still sign villaneuva

    especially if Oliver is still a question mark.

    Sign villan and you not only have a super strong rotation but the bullpen is pretty crazy as well. with 2 swingmen in Happ and Villan what more could you want? That’s decent protection to a level we’ve haven’t seen before. someone from the rotation needs to rest or recover from injury and the guy stepping in you still stand a very good chance to win.

    who wouldn’t like that?

    • Villaneuva wants to start. He will not resign here

      • Doesn’t Happ become Villaneuva now? Long guy in the bullpen who can start if needed?

      • True. But Villanueva may also want to win. And he has a chance of winning here. In something like 6 weeks the Jays have gone from an afterthought/joke to a club a lot of players might be all of a sudden wanting to sign up with.

        (What entertains me is that I’ve been checking out BoSox and Yankee boards and a lot of the fans are amazed that this small-market club with not-very-wealthy owners are ponying up all this cash. You’ll see other fans trying to point out that TO is not a small market team and that Rogers are one of if not the richest ownership in mlb but it doesn’t seem to be making an impression.)

    • They should agree to see other people. This was a bad beakup and I don’t think CV has eaten since he was dumped.

  50. Ya Farrell prolly feels like someone kicked him in the junk every time he hears another Jays upgrade

    Good for that Doosh

  51. Or maybe Kanuckleball?

  52. If the jays are in fact in search of beard. Then they must sign the best beard of all time Brian Wilson just imagine highlights with Kay onrait oh myyyyyy

  53. Everybody close their eyes. Then proceed to visualize every position, and think what they can and will do in defense and offense. It’ll put a fuckin smile on your faces.

    This team is stacked!

  54. If the Dickey extension is for more then the 2 years he was originally asking I would guess that the extra year(s) are club options as AA had included in Linds/EE/JB/AH/ contracts.

  55. I love this.. Anyone who has become despondent over the prospect losses that we have gone through over the last few weeks should read this. There is no Unicorn.

    • I am quite certain that that piece ought to be required reading for every baseball fan everywhere. It’s so spot-on…it reflects almost every opinion I’ve ever read about baseball on the internet…



  56. Hey guys, funny story….. the whole “me going to Boston” thing was just for a vacation! Alex is going to give me back the keys to the clubhouse right? Right….?!

  57. Richard Griffin is reporting that an extension has been agreed to pending a physical, and that an announcement could be made tonight:

    “Sources are now saying that negotiations with Dickey have ended successfully at an affordable rate and that the next step before an announcement can be made is for Jays’ medical staff to examine the righthander at their spring training headquarters in Florida.”

    • Any guesses on the unnamed player(s) in trade? Bench players etc?

      • I’m still holding out hope it’s Ike Davis, but that’s very unlikely, and it sounds like the other players are prospects.

        I’ll guess that the player to the Jays is Wilmer Flores, just so they can have some sort of offensive prospect in the upper-minors.

        I’ll guess the Mets get someone like Moises Sierra to give them an outfield option for this year… considering they don’t really have any.

  58. AJ Burnett + Roy Hallady + time= Drabek, Gose, Dickey (for now anyway)

    • seems reasonable!

      • Anyone know where that asshole Paxton is now? Tyler Beede? These guys could’ve been part of it. On the other hand they could have also been trade chips.

        • Paxton was ruled ineligible for school, ended up drafted in 4th round by Seattle the following year. Was highly touted prospect, but regressed a bit in 2012 while repeating AA.

  59. R.A. Dickey, get your “Follow” on:

  60. How many times has a team made major changes in the offseason, been the on paper “favourite” to win the division, and gone on to win the World Series. Any one know?

    • HOw many times has a team ever added 3 of the top 15 pitchers over 3 years, a player the calibre of jose reyes and the reigning MVP and CY Young winners of the NL? Obviously Cabrerra didnt win the MVP but thats like saying Lance Armstrong never won the tour de france.

    • Redsox???


  61. Separated at birth?? Am I wrong??

  62. “My mother taught me how to throw a knuckleball, Tim.”
    “I didnt know they knew about the knuckleball in the 1920′s Al”
    Gotta love pg humor

  63. Blue Jays sign Dickey to a 2 year 25 mil extension!

  64. Using the oft cited study of prospect success rates:

    Assuming TDA is a top 10 ranked and Syndengaard is a 41-50 ranked.

    Odds of TDA producing >3.50 WAR on average over his pre-FA years is about 20%. Odds of Syndengaard producing >1.50 WAR is 25%.

    The chances are that the Jays did NOT give up an all-star catcher and league average pitcher. It’s still a gamble I’d take as the Mets but I definitely understand the Jays trading these chances for Dickey.

  65. ‏@Ken_Rosenthal

    Source: Dickey in agreement with #BlueJays on two-year, $25 million extension that he had requested from #Mets, pending physical.

    Not bad at all, AA. I thought it would be at least 2 yrs/30M.

    • Someone’s twitter said 3/40-45 the other day?


      He’s still the ninja!

  66. I feel like we have too many chips all on red. That could be just because as a Jays fan over the past few yrs the only thing I could proudly get behind was our farm system talent, and now it’s maybe time to be a big boy. The Rangers had continued to build on their major league team, and the Rays still do, while keeping one of the best farm system talents around that they can always fall back on, just as the Rangers are at least leaning on now. I’ll of course revise my null opinion, if they end up making a run for the W.S. I’ll end of liking this deal a lot more if J. Johnson is resigned, which will then make more sense as to trading 2 out of our big 3, since there won’t be any room for 3 more SP in our rotation in the next 2-3 years.

  67. As nails as the team has the potential to be in the upcoming year, if the deal goes through, I can’t shake the feeling that they’re giving up a lot of future potential. As awesome as ’92/’93 were, the late nineties and early 2000s were rough for jays fans.

    I guess, I’m saying that, as a fan that watches every year, I would rather see the Rays’ results (consistently contending, no WS) than the Marlins’ (WS followed by irrelevance).

    I’ll just have to trust that AA and his team know more about building a baseball team than I do. (note: they definitely do)

    • Consider this … nobody goes to see the Marlins. If the Blue Jays can just be an AL East contender through the summer, they’ll be a marketing sensation.

    • Not going to bother looking up the prospects list but in addition to Drabek, Hutchison, Sanchez, Stroman Smoral Davis and Osuna are still in the pipeline. There are a ton of international signings AA did before the new CBA rules (both middle infielders and fielders) AA signed so many International players and regular draftees, they changed the rules on him.

  68. Its crazy to think how many A+ players the Jays have aquired this offseason. I mean, you would be happy if they had just singed Cabrerra and added Anibal Sanchez, Instead, they add 3 of the best pitchers in baseball, 2 potential MVPs, a guy who can steal 80 bases to a roster that already has potential cy young pitcher Morrow, and potential MVPs Bautista and Encarnation. This team is fucking crazy. Not to mention that with Cabrerra and Dickey, had Cabrerra not been suspended they would have added both the National league Cy Young and MVP. Crazy.

    • while I am generally in line with your enthusiasm, don’t forget that no Cabrerra suspension =’s no signing with Jays as his asking price would likely have been triple what we ended up paying him.

  69. Lost in all the hype seems to be that the Jays aquired Jose Reyes, who , if healthy, is what the second best shortstop in baseball? A potential 80 stolen bases? battng king? MVP? Best leadoff hitter in baseball? I

    • The mind boggles. They go from last years “reeediculous” to next year’s

      I CAN NOT WAIT for this!!!

  70. Was really looking forward to seeing what D’Arnaud could do, but fuck it.

    How pumped is Gibbons today? He’s got a better rotation and bullpen than when he was here before, and he had a pretty good rotation and bullpen back then.

    • ICJ
      At this point, in my long career as a human being, I’d rather watch the Wankees, O’s, Sox. and Rays swing wildly at knuckleballs dancing in the warm summer air.

      Oh yeah, and another pennant or 3 would be nice.

  71. God yes. This has got to be the best day in Gibbons’ life. There can’t be a manager in the major leagues who doesn’t envy the shit outta Gibbons right now.

  72. I don’t mind Thole he’s left handed. Has gotten on base before(more than JPA) Hearing the New York media talk about him, made me like him. Was never supposed to make it, they tired to make him a power hitter early on and that might have hampered his development and if you look at his numbers I think it’s four home runs in 700 and something at bats. The fact he’s only 26 and has caught a knuckle ball which makes him important to us. He’s not bad you could do worse with your backup catcher. The only problem I have is who’s behind JPA and THole of course AA could sign a guy like Eli Whiteside to be in Buffalo assuming Jimenez doesn’t get a taste of MLB in 2013.

  73. “Rosenthal adds that the Jays balked last year at dealing Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino and Jake Marisnick– all who have been now dealt (along with other pieces) for a much more transformative return.”

    Any word on what they supposedly turned down there?

    • These guys were discussed in Latos and Gio Gonzales negotiations. It wasn’t just one of them, each went for 3-4 top ten prospects.

  74. I grew up watching the Jays since the mid-eighties, where at first, year after year they were winning pennants or in pennant races, but never had enough to beat the mighty Royals, Athletics, or whoever won the west, to make the World Series. It took further acquisitions and some young talent to finally push them over the hump. They were living in the present, not waiting on the future, even though they knew, without a doubt, that some of those kids were going to be stars. Who exactly? Nobody knew for sure. When exactly? Nobody knew either. What they did know was that they were getting closer to the big prize. They knew that chance only comes around every so often, perhaps far too seldom for a team that although is a big market, plays in a foreign land. So they seized the moment, and made future for now deals. No guarantees, there never were. But the expectations were in place, and they made the final moves to do whatever it took to get there.

    2013 became time for the same mindset as the early 90s as soon as the Miami move as well as the Melky move were done.

    How anyone who was around in the Gillick era can’t like this deal is beyond me. If you were around then, or if you look at how contending teams operate at the trade deadline, this deal makes total sense. Should they have walked away, kept DArnaud and Syndergaard and tried for Marcum or EJax? What do those guys bring to the table compared to the reigning Cy Young winner? Do the Yankees or another AL team grab Dickey instead? Perhaps. We’ll never know. What we do know is Dickey has much more value than Marcum or EJax, and costs about the same (contract wise). So there’s the additional rotation return by making this move, and if you’re building a winner, you better take your starting pitching seriously.

    I love it.


  76. l love the bluejays but I am tired of GM’s in every sport putting the franchise back all because they want to save their own jobs. AA never had a plan this is out of pure frustration and giving up on their prospects. I am even fine with trading these prospects as long aswecan get a young established player for atleast five years in return. Mark my words Alex anthopoulos is gone after this season just like his mentor ricciardi was. By the way anthopoulos is not a young genius GM and the Halladay deal was a major flop. Jays knew about drabeks injury past, plus he was never a good prospectors begin with atleast not their best, they just sold the jays on him just like the mets sold jays dickey anthopoulos has lost his mind, just look at the Aaron hill trade this guy has made plenty of horrific moves yet the gullible Toronto fans have ALWAYS praised him. Congratulations the jays have been put back another seven years thanks in part to a GM looking save his job. With these prospects they could have gotten a way younger established pitcher. I don’t care if.dickey is a knuckerballer he will not last in the dome and certainly not in the AL justcheck his past stats. And bhuerle forgot about him as well as Romero who is done and that luck of a season morrow had and Johnson will be injured opposing hitters will cease on jays pitching could congrads jays fans we got.a.bunch of castaways for all that money opposing teams are laughing at us

  77. All I am saying is like other teams rip off Toronto teams maybe we should be doing the ripping off. The mets are laughing cause no GM in their right mind would give up what AA has given up. If dickey was 30 I would have been okay with this but he is not

  78. Hockey fan?

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