It’s official: the trade between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays is a done deal.
R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas are headed to Toronto.
Travis D’Arnaud, John Buck, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra are coming to the Mets.
I hate that the Mets are in a position where trading the reigning Cy Young Award winner makes sense – I’d much rather be thinking about winning the World Series than how many more years until they’ll have a shot to make the playoffs again.
But let’s be clear about something: the New York Mets were not going to the playoffs in 2013 with or without R.A. Dickey. They finished 74-88 this year with him, and were not in a financial position to add enough pieces through the free agent market to substantially improve.
Even if they did have the ability to spend like the Dodgers and decided to overpay Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to play the outfield and got Rafael Soriano and a few other free agent relievers for the bullpen, there’s no guarantee those moves would have made the Mets better than the Nationals and the Braves.
The Mets have been selling a “plan” of waiting until 2014 when the bloated contracts that Omar Minaya gave to Johan Santana and Jason Bay finally expire. But next year’s free agent class is likely to be as disappointing and overpriced as the current one, and there are no legitimate prospects at the upper levels of the farm system besides Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores, who doesn’t really have a position now that David Wright is locked up.
So before today’s trade, all we really had to look forward to in 2014 were players who’d be another year older.
Travis D’Arnaud is regarded as the best catching prospect in baseball, and he could be the right-handed bat the Mets have needed in the middle of the order to compliment David Wright. (He might be a huge bust, too.) Sometime this season, perhaps as soon as Opening Day, we’ll get to start finding out.
Noah Syndergaard was the best pitching prospect in the Blue Jays system, and he could be a strong addition to a rotation headed by Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler in a few years. (Or he might be a huge bust as well.)
18-year-old Wuilmer Becerra probably won’t even get to Brooklyn in 2013, so he’s not really worth thinking about just yet – but Toby Hyde says he’s very interesting.
Today’s trade was a gamble, one that’s not popular with some Mets fans. But given the state of the organization, it’s the kind of move that had to be made. If Sandy Alderson had the freedom and willingness to make a similar trade with Jose Reyes in 2011, maybe the Mets would be further along in their rebuilding process by now.
If you’re not excited about 2013, that’s understandable – I’m not either. But I’m feeling a little better about 2014 – and I have a reason to care about the Blue Jays’ three visits to the Bronx next year.