Make fun of J.P. Arencibia all you want, as this video shot behind poor Pete Walker shows; catching R.A. Dickey is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the slow of reflex or the easy or bruise.
Dickey’s warm-up tosses dance just as billed, even when thrown flat-footed from 45 feet away. R.A. Dickey threw two innings in his Blue Jays spring debut yesterday, allowing four hits and two runs. Monday’s start against the Red Sox was rare as it featured another knuckleballer, the Sox sending Steven Wright to the hill under the watchful eye of his knuckling mentor, Tim Wakefield.
After much speculation and negotiation, the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets as part of a seven-player trade that sends the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner to Toronto along with catcher Josh Thole and Minor League catcher Mike Nickeas in exchange for highly touted catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, the system’s top pitching prospect in Noah Syndergaard, veteran catcher John Buck and outfield prospect Wilmer Becerra.
Only in a world where fantasy baseball trades, video game franchise modes and prospect rankings are given more credence than they’re due could this trade be viewed in a negative light. It’s a good deal for both teams. The swap shores up a New York Mets organization that hopes to build around a young pitching rotation with the proven talent of the recently locked up David Wright. Meanwhile the Toronto Blue Jays further establish their newly found status as the best team in the American League East – at a time when the rest of the division appears wobbled by age and inconsistency – by acquiring a pitcher whose $5 million salary in 2013 likely makes him the greatest value-add possible for a rotation.
Dickey’s contributions go beyond the benefits of exceptional talent at a below-market price. He’s a unique player, a unique person, who offers a multitude of qualities underneath his jersey. He isn’t easily encompassed or grasped. However, here for your enjoyment and edification is an attempt to do just that: The Getting Blanked A-Z Guide To R.A. Dickey.
Get your Dickey fix! After Richard Griffin cryptically reported that negotiations between R.A. Dickey’s representation and the Toronto Blue Jays “ended successfully at an affordable rate” comes a Ken Rosenthal report that there is indeed a deal in place.
Source: Dickey in agreement with #BlueJays on two-year, $25 million extension that he had requested from #Mets, pending physical.
The rumors swirled all night and day (as lovingly curated by your heroes Andrew Stoeten and Archi Zuber) but now, at 10:00 PM on Saturday, comes the first example of a national writer/trade hound naming names. After Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports was among the first to include Travis d’Arnaud’s name among those leaving Toronto in exchange for National League Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey.
What I can only assume was grueling 24 hours passes and Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets the structure of a trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets. Nothing official but one source did confirm that flags do indeed fly forever. The deal looks like this:
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was among the chorus of baseball insiders today who took hold of a flaccid news cycle and vigorously agitated the R.A. Dickey talks. Seems the Mets front office is wary of getting shafted by the defending Cy Young award winner’s contract demands and, rather than suffering the indignity of a free agent year walk of shame, will explore their trade options with multiple partners.
The back and forth between club and pitcher took an unexpected public turn over the last few weeks, pitting a ownership group of white collar criminals against a populist hero in a battle of words and squabble over what seems like the matter of a few million dollars.
Any trade talk is likely premature but it is important fans of the rumored teams don’t blow their oops I’ve gone too far.
That the recently-minted Cy Young award winner from the National League attracts all sorts of attention on the trade market is not surprising. Well, that the Cy Young winner is on the trade market at all is somewhat surprising, but a large number of teams lobbying for his services only makes sense.
It also makes sense that the New York Mets, who hold a highly desirable commodity in the sweaty palms, will set their price sky high just to see if any team dares to reach it. There is so much working in the Mets favor that any team looking to bolster their playoff chances by adding R.A. Dickey is going to pay a pretty penny indeed.
Despite the machinations of Bud Selig and his expanded playoff format for Major League Baseball, there are plenty of teams with little to play for in the final month of the season. Sitting 19.5 games back of the National League East Division leading Washington Nationals, the New York Mets probably fall into this category.
Of course, there remain a couple of things that the team has going for it that might keep fans interested.