Joel Sherman: Jays are a potential suitor for RA Dickey

Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that the New York Mets should consider trading 2012 Cy Young Award-winner R.A. Dickey to help facilitate their rebuilding process. The 38-year old Dickey has one year remaining on his contract at an incredibly value-laden $5M for 2013 and does not fit into the team’s long-term plans. His career-high K/9 in 2012 (8.9) was well above his previous career clip (5.5) and the preceding 2 seasons (2010 – 5.4; 2011 – 5.8) and this could be a warning sign for potential suitors like the Jays who would be tempted to sign Dickey to a multi-year extension.

Dickey did not come out of nowhere as he has had success in 3 consecutive years producing 6.5 rWAR in 2010 and 2011 before exploding for 5.6 rWAR this past season pitching 616.2 IP over that span. Against the AL East, Dickey was absolutely dominant against the anemic offences of Tampa Bay and Baltimore holding them to just 2 hits in two complete games while striking out an incredible 25 batters. Baltimore’s best hitters couldn’t get to Dickey who was in the midst of his scoreless streak. Wieters struck out 3 times swinging and Adam Jones grounded out in 3 at-bats. An infield single was the only blemish for Dickey against Baltimore.

Against the crosstown rival New York Yankees, Dickey was not as sharp in 2012 giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 6 IP with just 3 strikeouts. Dickey admittedly didn’t have the best knuckler in his game against the Yankees and was uncharacteristically wild. His scoreless streak ended with a Texeira sac fly and a Swisher home run. However, in 2011 he held them to just 2 earned runs on 6 hits and 5 walks over 11 IP with 9 strikeouts in two starts.

If he were made available to the Jays, Anthopoulos would certainly inquire as to the cost for Dickey who at the moment is more valuable than typical rental players because of his very team-friendly salary for 2012. The Jays are rumoured to be in the market for further rotation depth in the wake of the franchise-altering trade with the Marlins and signing of All-Star Melky Cabrera after having experienced first-hand how injuries to the rotation can undo a team’s season.

The Mets would obviously love to acquire some of Toronto’s wealth of talent developing in the minors but the Jays will be reluctant to give up any of their top remaining prospects including Travis d’Arnaud, Aaron Sanchez or Noah Syndergaard. If the Jays could make a deal happen for a package based around JP Arencibia and/or Colby Rasmus and lesser prospects, they should be expected to strike acquire Dickey but it would be surprising if the market for Dickey doesn’t get inflated by his 2012 Cy Young season.

Though the acquisition of Dickey may seem like overkill to some after raising the payroll to ~$120M, DrunkJaysFans’ Andrew Stoeten has suggested that the acquisition of one more premiere starter could be the difference between a 90 and a 95+ season. At this point, the additional salary would be well spent if it meant the difference between a Wild Card-contender and a Division-winner. However, the team’s philosophy under Anthopoulos/Beeston has been to build a team capable of sustained success and though the team may be close, they are no doubt aware that they will need a pipeline of talent to address the team’s needs as the current core ages/departs.

If the price is right, do it. If not, there’s plenty Dicks out there.

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