It feels like we’ve entirely talked this whole damn thing out by now, but there’s still so much Dickey reaction floating around out there in the ephemera that I’m thinking I might as well try and scoop up as much as possible. I mean, it’s not like there’s going to be anything so compelling to talk about for a while– y’know, until they sign Rafael Soriano…
At Getting Blanked, Parkes goes through an A to Z guide to RA Dickey, in which… holy shit, he actually full-on writes something for each letter. Alex Ballingall of the Toronto Star goes with 50 things you need to know. Trust me, this is like easily ten times more than is possibly interesting about 95% of ballplayers.
“Flags fly forever, and the Jays are facing an unusual opportunity — the two traditional AL East powers, the Yankees and Red Sox, are weaker than they’ve been in some time, and the most popular sports team in Toronto, the Maple Leafs, is busy watching its commissioner try to drive the sport into oblivion,” writes Keith Law in his analysis for ESPN.com. “If the Jays start strong in April with no Leafs and the NBA’s Raptors in the tank, there’s a very good chance they’ll see their 2013 attendance catch up to their performance (something that often lags for teams having their first good season in a while, like Baltimore saw in 2012), leading to a revenue boost before the season is out, to say nothing of the substantial revenue boost all teams see when they reach the postseason. It’s an unusual confluence of factors that makes the Jays’ sudden shift to go for it in 2013 more logical than it would be for other sub-.500 teams.”
Once his post was filed, Law also took to Twitter to talk about the trade, making clear that while he agrees with the whole world that it’s a staggering amount of talent that the Jays have given up, he at least thinks they held the right one of the “Lansing 3.” Adding Aaron Sanchez he tweets, would have been a “deal breaker,” adding that “There’s no comparison. He’s among the best SP prospects in baseball.” Later, he scoffs at the fanciful Roy Halladay comps people have been occasionally putting on Syndergaard.
Of course, if that’s not reason enough why he was in the deal, maybe the Jays chose to keep Sanchez because of this story from the New York Daily News, which tells us about Noah Syndergaard and the gay slur he tweeted out less than a couple weeks ago.
Important stuff from Dave Cameron of FanGraphs: “Dickey’s RA9-wins (which is just WAR based on runs allowed instead of on FIP) over the last three years are significantly higher than his FIP-wins, which is what we call WAR for pitchers here on FanGraphs. By FIP, Dickey has been worth +10 WAR over the last three years. By runs allowed, he’s been worth +15 WAR,” he writes. “Because Dickey throws the knuckleball, and we already know that knuckleball pitchers outperform their FIP, you should lean more towards RA9-wins for Dickey than FIP-wins.” So my cherry picking rWAR was for a reason!
Elsewhere still at FanGraphs, Marc Hulet looks at Syndergaard, and gives us some reasons for those fearing this deal to take a deep breath: “His secondary pitches are still raw and currently project as average offerings, which tempers projections for his overall ceiling. I spoke with a talent evaluator for my recent Jays Top 15 prospect list and he said this of Syndergaard’s stuff: ‘The curveball has come a long, long way… it is, at times, average.’ He also stated that the young pitcher is toying with a slider and referred to the changeup as ‘OK.’ He’s likely more of a No. 3 starter than a No. 1 or 2, unless New York’s development staff can help him unlock the potential of his curveball and/or changeup.”
Hulet also looks at Travis d’Arnaud, and since it seems like I’m all about pointing out warts on these prospects that we didn’t want to see a week ago, I should not that he says that when he’s “seen d’Arnaud play he’s looked like a ‘low energy’ guy, or perhaps reserved is a better word.” Hulet adds that “The trade of d’Arnaud did not shock me. When I spoke to a club official about him earlier in the off-season, I got the feeling he was viewed as expendable… for the right price.”
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Eno Sarris looks at all kinds of comps for Travis d’Arnaud, trying to get a handle on how to prognosticate for large-ish catchers who put up crazy offensive numbers in insane offensive environments: “Prospects are iffy,” he explains. “Prospects whose best offensive seasons came in hitter-friendly parks might be more so. And (large?) catching prospects might even provide an additional layer of uncertainty. By all accounts, Travis D’Arnaud is an excellent all-around catcher and a great get for the rebuilding Mets. Given all those question marks, though, it’s still good news that there are other interesting names coming back to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey deal.”
And another FanGraphs piece, from Jeff Sullivan, looks at “the price of a window,” in which we’re assured “this should be a hell of a season for baseball in Toronto.” Damn right!
Ben Lindbergh and Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus walk us through the deal, with Parks ultimately– after much trying to find out what the Jays must see wrong with the guys they gave up (because “smart teams don’t trade premium up-the-middle talent on the cusp of the majors”)– deciding that it’s OK, because “they feel they have a chance to win, and they are willing to part with some of the currency they’ve been saving up to enhance their odds. It’s a risk, but you can’t always rest on the accomplishments of your farm system when the product at the highest level is paramount to your own survival. Eventually, you have to play your hand.”
At Bluebird Banter, jessief digs into the peripherals and declares R.A. Dickey the awesome– OK, perhaps minus the definite article.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney) has the Jays ranked eighth in his first power rankings of 2013-ish. Vegas would disagree.
Olney also take a more full look at the Jays and how they sit for the coming season, quoting one “AL official” who says that Anthopoulos is “out of his mind.”
John Lott of the National Post talks about the deal, and how it’s all about the timing.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that Dickey will be a fan favourite, and has another piece on how the deal developed, the Jays’ secrecy, and suggests that we’ll just have to “stay tuned” to see if even more may be on the horizon.
Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com talks to Charlie Hough about Dickey, suggesting that the climate-controlled dome he’ll now pitch home games in will help, as will the fact that the Jays have brought his catcher, Josh Thole, along.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun looks at Dickey’s lack of a ulnar collateral ligament, how it was discovered, and how it… I dunno.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet takes us through the deal, hoping it’s more Kent-Cone than Young-Loaiza.
Lastly, a bunch of audio for your listening pleasure: from Dave Cameron at FanGraphs, from Keith Law and Alex Anthopoulos on TSN Radio, JP Ricciardi on the Fan 590, and Alex Anthopoulos on the Fan 590 as well.