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Well it certainaly seems that this Dickey thing has legs. Usually when you hear that the Jays are in on a deal it doesn't happen but there are leaks on this like a rusty tea pot. What a coincidence that JP Ricciardi is in New York now. Could it be that JP is saying I'll see you your cone of silence and raise you a wall of coverage? Or it could be that the Mets are trying to persuade other teams to get into the negotiations.

The news this morning suggests the outline of a deal is in place and that each team is reviewing medicals. If that is true an announcement could come today sometime.

The Mets and Blue Jays have talked about Dickey for a while now but it appears that it was only when the Jays agreed to include Travis d'Arnaud that the Jays jumped to the front of the line. There are rumours of lots of other players being in this deal but, as far as I can tell, most of it is speculation. The combination that seems to have the most solid reporting behind it suggests d'Arnaud and Gose will go to New York with Dickey and someone else coming back, with maybe other players in the deal.

A trade like this would be a big win now move by AA. The expectations of this team would be high, playoffs or bust. Many teams do believe that when you have a chance to go for it you do. Better a couple of years in the playoffs followed by a drought than five years of 500 ball.

D'Arnaud and Gose are both top 100 prospect level players but each has questions. Gose has had problems making contact, although his speed and defense are excellent. D'Arnaud has had problems staying healthy but when he has played he has performed well.

It could be interesting days in Buffalo who just opted to switch their AAA affiliation from the Mets to the Jays. D'Arnaud and Gose were due to play in Buffalo but likely won't, but could have if Buffalo had stayed with the Mets.

Also, now that it seems like Dickey is headed out of New York, the NY Post leads the attack on him:

And, in an underappreciated part of this saga that soared into visibility this week, Dickey can be a handful. He clearly has enjoyed his rise from the ashes into a Flushing folk hero, and while he deserves praise and riches, there’s also the matter of him having to coexist peacefully in a workplace. His gift for self-promotion and his love of attention don’t endear himself to most teammates. Instead, his durability and outstanding results led him to be appreciated but far from beloved.

If you trace back the sources of the Jays prospects this has an almost Roy Halladay for RA Dickey aspect to it.

Stay tuned for more news...

To Dickey Or Not To Dickey, That Is The Question? | 209 comments | Create New Account
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CeeBee - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 09:34 AM EST (#266828) #
I'll withhold judgment till it's official and we know who all the players involved are BUT if it's Gose and D'Arnaud for Dickey I am NOT happy, especially if Dickey doesn't sign a reasonable extension and I'm pretty sure he won't.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:15 AM EST (#266830) #
appreciated but far from beloved

So what they're saying is, Dickey is kind of a...jerk?
grjas - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:16 AM EST (#266831) #
Well if AA is true to his word that he wants a winner for mutiple years, i can't see him sending his 2 top position players to get a second pitcher with a one year contract. Time will tell I guess.
Chuck - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:27 AM EST (#266832) #
You have to believe that signing Dickey to an extension is a prerequisite to dealing either d'Arnaud or Gose.

As for the NY Post smear job, it's probably useful to consider the tabloidness of the source and the reprehensible way the Mets choose to do business. I'm disappointed in Sandy Alderson that this behaviour takes place on his watch.
Thomas - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:29 AM EST (#266833) #
Like others, I don't care about the Post's allegations about Dickey's personality. I do care about trading half of the top prospects in our farm system for a couple of pitchers on one-year contracts in Johnson and Dickey.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:36 AM EST (#266834) #
All the leaks just dont add up. This seems to me like the Mets are just trying to bully a trade through the media.

Its not that I think that TDA is too steep a price, i think its fair for the reigning Cy Young winner. But adding Gose is preposterous and guts our depth. I trust AA to be smarter than that. Better to drop out and add a marcum or jackson.

Ive heard rumors of another team getting involved. If that is the case then i have to imagine we pull our offer.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:37 AM EST (#266835) #
Interesting point noted by Buster Olney: next year's free agent pitchers are a fairly lackluster lot (apart from Johnson and Dickey). Probably another reason why AA is chasing hard after Dickey (presumably with an extension) now.

Here's the list of 2014 free agents:
Anders - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:41 AM EST (#266836) #
Like others, I don't care about the Post's allegations about Dickey's personality. I do care about trading half of the top prospects in our farm system for a couple of pitchers on one-year contracts in Johnson and Dickey.

And Dickey is 38. He's a knuckleballer, to be fair, but he's also probably going to be a 3-4 win player under best case circumstances, on a one year deal. Unless there is another shoe somewhere not really such a fan of giving up d'Arnaud in the deal.

ogator - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:43 AM EST (#266837) #
"All my pretties in one fell swoop"?
Original Ryan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:43 AM EST (#266838) #
I'm also going to withhold judgment until all the names come out, but I'm not crazy about giving up d'Arnaud, either. The thought of several more years of J.P. Arencibia behind the plate is not a particularly appealing one.
Gerry - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:50 AM EST (#266839) #

Maybe a delay is brewing according to Adam Rubin of ESPN....or it could be a negotiating tactic from within the Mets front office.

An executive aware of the talks added that the Mets unexpectedly had been approached by another team Friday night, and that the full framework of a deal with Toronto had not yet been reached.

85bluejay - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:50 AM EST (#266840) #
AA give up a bunch of mid-level prospects for essentially J.A. Happ and now Happ will likely be a BP guy - definitely a poor value trade for the Jays - Giving up Gose  & D'Arnaud is just stupid - at least when the Reds & Nationals give up quality last year, they got back young high upside pitchers you can build around to contend for years - I know AA supposedly said in an interview with WEEI radio that the Jays need to not waste the next 3 yrs of Bautista/EE, but I was hoping for a longer run of contention and if this deal goes through, I see a 3 yr window and then another rebuild - would give a BIG thumbs down to this deal if both Gose & esp. D'Arnaud are involved - worse than the Royals-Tampa deal IMO.   
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:00 AM EST (#266841) #

I seem to remember picking up Milwaukee's # 1 Prospect (Brett Lawrie) for Toronto's Ace at the time (Shaun Marcum), but their # 3 Starter.   Trading Toronto's # 1 prospect Travis d'Arnaud for New York's Ace (and Cy Young Winner) R.A. Dickey seems like a fair deal, even if more people are traded.   If they can't be signed for an extention, both get Qualifying Offers, which gains two draft picks in the Supplemental First Round.   All indications are Dickey will sign an extention with Toronto ( he finally gets big money, if only $13 -$15 per year).   A.A. also has a decent chance in signing Johnson to an extention.   Imagine what happens in next year's Free Agent Market if neither are available.

China fan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:02 AM EST (#266842) #
"....AA give up a bunch of mid-level prospects for essentially J.A. Happ and now Happ will likely be a BP guy - definitely a poor value trade for the Jays....."

I disagree with this. Happ is not a mere "BP guy" -- he's the 6th starter who will immediately be shifted into the rotation at the first injury to a starter, or if Romero (or someone else) is a bust. It's a very important role, something similar to the role that Villanueva played in 2012, and it has substantial trade value. A contending team can't have a huge gap between their 5th and 6th starters. It can't allow the team to suffer a big loss if one pitcher is injured. It has to have a solid replacement available. Happ would have that role, and it's a very valuable one. My prediction is that he won't be a "BP guy" for the whole season -- he'll spend a substantial amount of 2013 in the rotation. It means that, unlike in 2012, the Jays won't fall apart if one or two key pitchers are injured.
China fan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:14 AM EST (#266843) #
On the question of whether Dickey would stay with the Jays for three years: a writer at the NY Daily News has tweeted that Dickey is indeed likely to sign a contract extension with the Jays, according to two of his sources.

And it makes perfect sense, because the money is quite reasonable. He is getting a dirt-cheap $5-million in 2013, and the extension would be $26-million for two additional years, according to Dickey's request. So it's effectively $31-million for three years, or just over $10-million per season. That's a bargain for a Cy Young winner who has posted very good numbers over the past three seasons. I don't see any reason why Anthopoulos and Rogers would be unwilling to cough up for this. It's a bargain contract, cheaper than any comparable free agent, and I'm sure the Jays will find a way to do it. So, when we're evaluating this trade, keep in mind that the Jays will almost certainly control this pitcher for three years, not one year.
electric carrot - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:35 AM EST (#266844) #
It's not just a bargain contract -- it's incredible.  Cy Young pitcher for 3 years at around 10 million is outrageously good.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:57 AM EST (#266845) #
Gose apparently not part of the package (thankfully):
Chuck - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 12:00 PM EST (#266846) #

With Dickey, there's no worries of injury to his UCL. He ain't got one.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 12:09 PM EST (#266848) #
I wonder how much the Jays' additional depth at catcher (Jimenez, Nessy) is factoring into this transaction, assuming the rumours are correct (always a big assumption).
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 12:39 PM EST (#266849) #
And it makes perfect sense, because the money is quite reasonable. He is getting a dirt-cheap $5-million in 2013, and the extension would be $26-million for two additional years, according to Dickey's request.

What he'd sign to play for in New York isn't necessarily what it would take for him to sign to play in Canada.
Thomas - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 12:51 PM EST (#266850) #
I wonder how much the Jays' additional depth at catcher (Jimenez, Nessy) is factoring into this transaction, assuming the rumours are correct (always a big assumption).

D'Arnaud's odds of being an average or better major league catcher (both offensively and defensively) are significantly greater than those of Jimenez or Nessy. Catching prospects have a high attrition rate and he's proven himself at much higher levels in combination with excellent scouting reports. Maybe it's a slight factor, but it shouldn't be influential in deciding whether to give up Gose or d'Arnaud or another highly-evaluated player.

greenfrog - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:01 PM EST (#266851) #
Any guesses as to the ultimate transaction, assuming it goes ahead?

How about d'Arnaud, Lind and Sierra for Dickey and Davis?
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:03 PM EST (#266852) #
TDA for Dickey and a filler prospect who we never hear from
John Northey - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:13 PM EST (#266853) #
greenfrog, if you are right i'll be happy.  Sierra is a nice prospect, but not a great one while Lind is filler.  Davis would be an improvement at 1B/DH and fill in the last major hole in the lineup. 

I wonder if the Jays are getting reports on d'Arnaud that say he won't last as a catcher after his injuries this year thus jumped the willingness to trade him.  If this happens it'll be a long term situation to decide if it is a win or not, but if d'Arnaud moves to 1B then it should be a clear win for the Jays... assuming it happens of course and that d'Arnaud doesn't became Delgado v2.0

Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:18 PM EST (#266854) #
As per TamRa (and I agree), at Catcher, with a chance at the majors we have: A.J. Jimenez at AA; Santiago Nessy at A- and in the Yan Gomes mode: Sean Ochinko at A+.   Anyone else we have is anyone's guess.
adrianveidt - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:21 PM EST (#266855) #
Are they really going to have Arencibia catching these world class pitchers?
Original Ryan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:30 PM EST (#266856) #
Are they really going to have Arencibia catching these world class pitchers?

Considering the trouble Arencibia has catching "normal" (for lack of a better term) pitches, how is he going to handle Dickey's knuckler? I suspect the turf behind home plate is going to get worn down from Arencibia's frequent trips to the backstop.

whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:48 PM EST (#266857) #
Knuckleballers almost always end up with a personal catcher, I am sure Dickey will be no different.

Also, JPA already represents the best catcher this organization has ever developed. Perhaps he deserves a bit more credit. There's no guarentee that TDA would be anywhere near as good as JPA is or might be.
adrianveidt - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 01:51 PM EST (#266858) #
I wasn't suggesting that TDA might be better. I don't care who "developed" Arencibia. I don't think he has the skills to catch what should be one of the best pitching staffs in MLB. I think they should go out and get a veteran catcher who can handle this job.
TamRa - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 02:10 PM EST (#266859) #
A few things...

1. I'm against trading d'Arnaud. Period. Pretty much any other young player except Lawrie is a better option to deal IMO. How we can have so very many attractive pitchers and not be trying to build around a pitcher mystifies me.

2. IF we do trade for him for anything significant I require an extension. I have almost no interest in getting him just for one year unless the best prospect going back is say, John Stilson.

3. IF we get him, you can take it as a given that John Buck will be his personal catcher (or Buck will be dealt and someone with a rep for handling knuckleballs will be brought in

4. I too disagree about Happ. The fact that we put together five excellent starters doesn't mean Happ's not worthy. also, check Sickel's list for the Astros. Only one of the players we dealt was ranked and he not very highly.

5. I could be soothed a little bit on trading d'Arnaud if Flores was coming back in the deal.

6. I fully expect to learn that if the deal is made it doesn't look at all like what the rumors say, other than including Dickey.

Mike Forbes - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 02:17 PM EST (#266860) #
What is Doug Mirabelli doing these days?
BlueJayWay - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 02:21 PM EST (#266861) #
Well, this is certainly interesting.  It sounds like TDA is included for sure, if a deal goes through.  But you never know.  Jays looking for more than just Dickey coming back, as well.

Just have to wait and see what the actual trade ends up being.

A part of me is thinking it all falls through. 

Original Ryan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 02:25 PM EST (#266862) #
JPA already represents the best catcher this organization has ever developed.

You're setting the bar pretty low.

Wildrose - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 02:32 PM EST (#266863) #
There has been some speculation that Josh Thole, who primarily caught Dickey may be coming as well in the deal.

I imagine what's holding things up is negotiations on a contract extension, I just can't see trading for TDA without one.

Chuck - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 02:32 PM EST (#266864) #

Considering the trouble Arencibia has catching "normal" (for lack of a better term) pitches, how is he going to handle Dickey's knuckler? I suspect the turf behind home plate is going to get worn down from Arencibia's frequent trips to the backstop.

The Jays will just play a special shift, with Lawrie positioned between the catcher and the backstop.

Mike Forbes - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:06 PM EST (#266865) #
Okay. The trade looks like this in my head...

To NY:
Travis d'Arnaud
Danny Barnes
Moises Sierra

R.A. Dickey
Ike Davis
Geoff - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:13 PM EST (#266866) #
On what previous occasions has AA done a deal where the media had caught wind of it beforehand since the Halladay trade? Since I heard of the Dickey deal, I figured that if it hasn't happened already, then the odds are it won't. Of course there may be exceptions but where does AA walk away on principle of negotiations being handled properly. Obviously there may be a deal such as this that is too significant to easily walk away.

And I expect if the value the Mets demand for Dickey is equal to expecting Dickey signing long term, then him signing will be a condition of the trade going ahead.

I've hoped AA might find a way to finesse Romero for Niese into the deal.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:21 PM EST (#266867) #
I've hoped AA might find a way to finesse Romero for Niese into the deal.

I have wondered when I read that Happ was the 5th starter who could be moved to the pen, whether it's not more likely that Romero will simply be dealt. I have more faith in Happ than Romero at this point, and I suspect that there are those in the front office who feel the same. Though his trade value obviously took a big hit in 2012, I think Romero is one more bad season from having 0 market value.
Mike Forbes - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:34 PM EST (#266868) #
Looks like it's a 7 player deal with Noah Syndergaard being involved. I kind of think the Jays could wind up with Zach Wheeler or something nice if that's the case.

AA doesn't do small time deals anymore.
Geoff - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:45 PM EST (#266869) #
Syndegaard, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Highly doubtful information is leaking out of the negotiations rather than wild speculation.

Still curious how AA, with his strict policy on negotiations being kept confidential will respond to this sort of situation.
PeteMoss - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 03:49 PM EST (#266870) #
Virtually all of the leaks are coming from the New York media. AA can be ticked off with the Mets for being leaky.. but its not coming from the Jays side.
Mike Green - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 04:04 PM EST (#266871) #
Whatever they may or may not be talking about, I am sure that it will fall apart once the words "Rajai Davis" are uttered by Alderson. 
sam - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 04:23 PM EST (#266872) #
Has anyone else noticed the names leaking from the Jays' side has increased in stature over the last day or two? Mets must be leaking names to drive up the price.

I'm wholly against trading d'Arnaud. The worst part of it all is we're now stuck watching JP Arencibia catch a pitched baseball for the next three or four years before the next guy comes up. Thinking about that makes me ill.
dan gordon - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#266873) #
As I mentioned on the other thread, D'Arnaud is the kind of guy who can be so much better than other players at his position, he can be a real difference maker for this team for years.  I wouldn't give him up.  A guy who can catch and hit in the middle of the order - you don't trade guys like that.  I'd much rather sign a guy like Marcum or the rough equivalent and keep D'Arnaud.  Now they're saying Syndergaard is being included as well??  Hey, if they can get Ike Davis, and dump Lind on the Mets, and sign Dickey to a 2-year extension, I'd deal J.P., Syndergaard and Gose, but not D'Arnaud.  I know how valuable Posey has been to the Giants, and I think D'Arnaud has that kind of ability, minus a bit of batting average.  The thought of watching J.P. pile up a .275 OBP year after year while D'Arnaud is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball for the Mets for the next decade is not appealing.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 04:34 PM EST (#266874) #
I still think people are underrating JPA and overrating TDA. I would deal TDA for dickey straight up but it is not amazing value and at this point, with all the leaks, part of me hopes AA pulls the plug.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 04:43 PM EST (#266875) #
I think what I'd do is trade guys i don't really want all that much for the Mets' best players and best prospects.
John Northey - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 05:28 PM EST (#266876) #
Rumours are fun aren't they?  NYP has it as 4 from Toronto to NY for 3 back.  Who would that be? 

They say AA is insisting on a catcher coming back putting the name Josh Thole forward - he is a LH hitting catcher who plays fairly regularly (over 100 games each of the past 2 years, but sub 400 PA) with a 85 OPS+ lifetime, he was in the 90's but last year was terrible with a 63 via a 234/294/290 line entering his age 26 season and is a super-2 for arbitration (thus 4 years of control left). Their 3 other catchers were 29+ last year and not too impressive.  Knowing AA though he might go for a prospect such as  Juan Centeno who is entering his age 23 season after a decent campaign at 22 in AA 285/337/342, lifetime in the minors is 266/323/323 and would fit in in Buffalo as a backup for the majors.

The other two would be Dickey and probably Ike Davis who'd replace Lind going the other way (one hopes).  So Lind, d'Arnaud, Sierra (giving them an OF prospect since rumours are it isn't Gose), and a pitching prospect for Dickey, Davis, and Thole.  Very much a win now and filling in all holes.
CeeBee - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 05:51 PM EST (#266877) #
The more names they throw in from the Jays the less I like it. I'm in the "rather sign Marcum, Jackson, etc.," camp and keep the prospects that have been mentioned.
earlweaverfan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 05:56 PM EST (#266878) #
It sure seems like this deal will get done and it will be another big trade.

While any deal for one other player can end up as a disaster (Esteban Loaiza?), the more players get involved, the better the chance that the ultimate outcome is more balanced.  Sometimes this is clear immediately, and sometimes over several years.

If this trade ends up being a 3 for 4 trade, as some are suggesting, then I have high hopes that AA can get this team much closer to being a strong contender over several years, without paying too high a (net) price.  To me, the (gross) price is not so much the issue.  The Jays paid a high (gross) price in Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez for Alomar and Carter.  Net, they did very well, and even if one saw that as a balanced trade, it filled critical gaps that set the Jays up for post-season success.

My confidence is based on these predictions:
  • If the Jays pay highly for Dickey, they will get an extension out of it (two plus one?) and likely Dickey's regular catcher to snag the knuckleballs
  • If the Jays give up D'Arnaud as the core of the deal, they will also get Ike Davis, and send Lind back to the Mets
  • AA will surprise us all in some additional way, not yet contemplated in the media or twitterverse

joeblow - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 05:59 PM EST (#266879) #
Syndergaard and D'Arnaud rumoured? Ouch.

The price of top tier pitching is through the roof. A healthy Josh Johnson will look for $30m/year next year. Dickey averaging $11m/y will look like chump change.

The Jays seem to think they can get ahead two ways: by loading up for a run now and by being early for the new economic landscape.
jerjapan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 06:14 PM EST (#266880) #
Personally, I'd rather have a great MLB team than a stacked farm system.  AA has shown that he's more than capable of thinking outside the box to keep prospects flowing into the system - his sign mid-tier free agents to one year contracts approach netted tons of draft pick compensation until the rules changed, he took advantage of international prospects, again until the rule changed, and in the last draft he showed how you could net a number of high upside prospects within the new rules.   

I'm AOK with D'Arnaud and Syndergaard heading to the Mets for a quality package, because I see no reason to think that AA won't be able to get another D'Arnaud or another Syndergaard moving forward.  Prospects are more valued at the moment than I can ever remember - perhaps they are overvalued?  Rogers has shown a willingness to spend big if its smart spending, so we aren't stuck with the Tampa / Oakland model of swapping major league talent for prospects.  The 2012 Jays are closer to the Sox than the Rays - a wealthy franchise with a smart front office.  The AL East looks more vulnerable in 2013 than it has in years - lets roll the dice.     

Waveburner - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 06:27 PM EST (#266881) #

I really don't see both d'Arnaud and Syndergaard traded without a better secondary piece coming back than Ike Davis, who has issues of his own. Or at least I hope AA isn't quite that desperate. I think John Northey might be close on the deal, except I wouldn't get my hopes up on Lind being included. No one wants him. I could see Buck being included instead so that the Mets have another catching option if they want d'Arnaud to get a little more time in AAA.

If the pitcher from the Jays side is someone other than Syndergaard, Sanchez or Osuna I will be OK with that trade. Risky, but that's what this offseason is all about.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 07:09 PM EST (#266882) #
It'a all very simple, compare Brett Lawrie to Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.   Number 1 prospect, Brett was acquired for basically a number 3 Starter, Shaun Marcum.  Then go here, my compliments to TamRa: and compare Roberto Osuna with Noah.   What the problem with trading prospects?
John Northey - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 08:13 PM EST (#266883) #
As some have said, the challenge now is how do you shift the Jays from what looks to be a 85-90 win team into a 90-95 win team? To do that you have to upgrade significantly and you cannot do that without risk. A true ace (and a guy who won the Cy in 2012 certainly qualifies) vs Happ is a major upgrade. A guy with a 110 OPS+ vs Lind's mid-90's is another upgrade but not as drastic. After that it gets harder and harder to upgrade.

If the Jays go sign Marcum or Jackson they are getting a marginal upgrade on Happ but not a drastic one. If they platoon Davis with Lind that is a marginal improvement over Lind. However, combined they won't reach what this deal could easily reach for a net gain on wins in 2013. There is no question AA sees 2013 as THE year to chase it down. Boston is down, Baltimore is due a regression, the Yankees are missing A-Rod for 1/2 a year at least and have lost their number one catcher as well and probably will lose their RF too (Swisher), the Rays did a short term pain for long term gain trade. Basically, everyone else in the AL East looks weaker now than they did at seasons end with the exception of Boston (maybe up to 500) and the Jays. This is the window, this is the time. If he doesn't go for it now, then when?
adrianveidt - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 09:25 PM EST (#266884) #
Was Shaun Marcum a #3 starter? That's not how I remember him. I'm also confused at all of the trashing of Romero going on here. He had one "bad" year. He's had a much better career than Morrow. He obviously had an elbow problem which has now been corrected.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 09:48 PM EST (#266885) #
By default, Shaun Marcum was Toronto's #1 Starter, but an Ace - no way, he was all that was left after the Halladay trade.  In Milwaukee, he was their #3 Starter, and that's why all we got was Brett Lawrie, their #1 prospect at that time.  For a #1 Ace, you'll pay more.
rotorose - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 09:53 PM EST (#266886) #
The latest from Joel Sherman of the New York Post is that it is Dickey, Thole and a non-elite prospect for D'Arnaud, Buck, Syndergard and a non-elite prospect. Way too much to give up!
Rich - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:06 PM EST (#266887) #
I don't think I would deal either D'Arnaud or Syndergaard.  Rasmus, JPA, and Osuna I'd do in a heartbeat.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:12 PM EST (#266888) #
It was expected that once Ricky recovered from surgery, he would compete with Brandon for our #1 starter.  It was thought that Brandon could be a true #1 starter, because his stuff is that good.   is a good rule of thumb to follow.  Josh Johnson is a true #1 starter, despite his detractors.  Mark Buehrle was Chicago's #1 starter at on time, but is still a borderline #2.   R.A. Dickey is an Ace.   So that's how good our Pitching Staff can be, 5 #1 Starters.
Chuck - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 10:57 PM EST (#266889) #

The latest from Joel Sherman of the New York Post is that it is Dickey, Thole and a non-elite prospect for D'Arnaud, Buck, Syndergard and a non-elite prospect.

The fact that catchers would be being swapped makes sense. The Jays would want a catcher experienced with the knuckleball.

Original Ryan - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:15 PM EST (#266890) #
The latest from Joel Sherman of the New York Post is that it is Dickey, Thole and a non-elite prospect for D'Arnaud, Buck, Syndergard and a non-elite prospect. Way too much to give up!

If that's what the deal proves to be, mark me down as disliking the trade. I just hope Dickey can continue to be a top pitcher through age 41.

John Northey - Saturday, December 15 2012 @ 11:33 PM EST (#266891) #
That works for me. We get an ace, a decent catcher and spare part for 2 top prospects and a very expensive backup catcher and a spare part. d'Arnaud is the big one but with his injury issues I'm wondering if his future is at 1B. Syndergard looks good but the old tinstaapp rule applies (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect) as pitchers who are doing great in A ball often do not make it no matter how good they appear at that time. Syndergard's dream is to become as valuable as Dickey is right now.

I'm still hopeful a Lind for Davis addition can be made.
dan gordon - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:04 AM EST (#266892) #
Well, if it's Dickey, Thole and a minor prospect for D'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Buck and a minor prospect, I think the Blue Jays are making a very significant mistake that's going to bite them big time.  It's like somebody threw a switch and said, OK, all these prospects we've been accumulating have to be dumped this offseason.  How about some middle ground here? 
hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:36 AM EST (#266893) #
If the Dickey deal as reported comes to fruition, the Jays will have transitioned from an elite farm/mediocre MLB team to a mediocre farm/elite MLB team.

As long as this works, and I'd put the odds somewhere between 80-90% that it will, the increased revenues will allow the Jays to become one of the big boy players in future Free Agency. This will be crucial, because the position player pool on the farm looks to be weak for quite some time.

As a bit of a prospect junkie, it does pain me to see so many traded off, but after last years fiasco, there wasn't much choice, and once AA got started with The Trade, he seems to have decided "in for a penny, in for a pound".
scottt - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 07:28 AM EST (#266894) #
If D'Arnauld was not so injury prone, we wouldn't be talking about him.

So, who get the call the next time JPA breaks a thumb?
whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 08:53 AM EST (#266895) #
Who catches? Presumably josh thole and the next catcher we pick up off waivers (whiteside again?).

I do think this sounds like a steep price to pay as currently constructed. That said, an extended dickey and ike davis would change my tune. Also, as has been pointed out, as we transition to a (hopefully) elite team, we should start valuing prospects less and players more.

Alot of people seem like they are still stuck in moneyball/riccardiball mode. Given where our team is we need to stop acting like the rays and start acting like the yanks or tigers. This is a very Yankees-like move: and if the prospect dumps we do have the same rate of success as the yanks ones then i am all for moves like this.
China fan - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:12 AM EST (#266896) #
Interesting analysis from Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs. He looks at the deal as it's currently structured, agrees that it's a steep price for the Jays to pay, but says the deal can be justified. Unlike the Royals when they traded a top prospect and other prospects for established pitchers, the Jays are in a much different situation: they are at the peak of their "win curve" and Dickey could be the final element that they need to have a shot at winning the AL East.

Key quote from the Cameron analysis: "This is how you change a losing culture."
slitheringslider - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:14 AM EST (#266897) #
I think middle ground is probably the worst thing the Jays could do. While it hurts me so so so much trading TDA and Syndergaard, I think Dickey represents a piece that potentially pushes the Jays over the top. If this trade goes through, at least it shows that AA has a plan and is willing to make bold calculated risk to follow through with his plan. The window to win is now, pitching is expensive.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:29 AM EST (#266898) #
It is a steep price to give up two blue chippers like that, but Dickey has become an extremely good pitcher since reinventing his knuckleball (and was one of the best in all MLB last year), and it seems d'Arnaud's inclusion is contingent on an extension.
Chuck - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:35 AM EST (#266900) #

It is a steep price to give up two blue chippers like that

I don't think it's fair to characterize a 20-year old in A ball as a blue chipper.

China fan - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:52 AM EST (#266901) #
"....I don't think it's fair to characterize a 20-year old in A ball as a blue chipper...."

Good point, Chuck. There are so many things that can go wrong to a prospect between A ball and the majors. I love Syndergaard's potential, but it's a potential that could be several years away, and the Jays can't afford to put all of their hopes on 2015. They're in the win-now phase of their evolution.

The same issue, incidentally, also applies to Travis d'Arnaud, since catchers can take longer to develop. His hitting might be nearly MLB-ready, but the defense and the familiarity with the Jays pitchers could take another year or more, especially since he needs to recover from a fairly serious injury. The Jays were willing to go with a rookie catcher in 2011 when they were rebuilding, but it's less than ideal to be trying out a rookie catcher in a contending season.

Finally, the inclusion of Syndergaard also allows the Jays to keep both Rasmus and Gose, despite the Mets needing a CF. It would be risky for the Jays to give up either Rasmus or Gose if they want to contend. It's still unclear if Rasmus can bounce back, so they need Gose around, but Gose is also a question mark, so the Jays really need both of them around. On paper, Syndergaard might be a better prospect, but Gose is closer to the majors and more crucial to the team's chances in the next year or two.

85bluejay - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 10:13 AM EST (#266903) #
I hope for the sake of the Franchise, somebody (that's you, Paul Beeston) steps in and stops the insanity!! - This is not an overpay - this is outright thievery
China fan - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 10:21 AM EST (#266904) #
"....for the sake of the franchise...."

Are you referring to the franchise that failed to make the playoffs for the past 19 consecutive seasons?
John Northey - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 10:52 AM EST (#266906) #
Phew, one would think d'Arnaud is the next Delgado and Syndergaard is the next Dave Stieb the way some people are reacting.

Yes, it is possible that both could become just that but ... Syndergaard is entering his 4th pro season and has yet to throw a pitch in A+ ball. Stieb in his 3rd pro season was in the All-Star game and that is wasting much of his first pro season as an outfielder. Of course, he started at 20 not 17 so that is a big factor but still it points out how superstar calibre pitchers normally shoot through the minors very quickly. Syndergaard is moving steadily but not super-quick, rookie first year, short season A the next, full season A the next, A+ this year then probably AA in 2014 with a shot at the majors in 2015 and full time in 2016. That is not the profile of a near HOF'er, they skip levels and dominate along the way. I'm not saying Syndergaard isn't going to be an All-Star level, but the way people are reacting he'd have to be Dave Stieb/Jimmy Key (2 minor league seasons, AS season 2 in majors) level and a guy in A ball in his 3rd pro season is no safe bet to be that.

d'Arnaud is the bigger issue - he could be a great hitter but... he has had 6 years in the minors so far and while hitting well, was sub 1000 for OPS in Vegas which means he hit worse than Lind and Snider and barely out hit Gomes (1 year older) and Cooper (2 years older). That tempers my enthusiasm a bit. In Delgado's 5th minor league season he broke into the majors and his 6th started with a bang before being demoted. His 7th was mainly in AAA before he finally stuck in his 8th pro season. He was stuck behind Olerud & Molitor (1B/DH) thus explaining 1994/5 (when he had a 1000 OPS in Syracuse) otherwise I suspect he would've stuck in 1994, his 6th season, and had a better shot at the HOF (27 HR shy of 500).

Both d'Arnaud and Syndergaard could be All-Stars but neither catches me as a potential HOF'er and only d'Arnaud is likely to help during the contention window of 2013-2015. Thus it makes a lot of sense to trade them for a potential difference maker right now as otherwise they could be the Halladay/Delgado of a batch more 500 teams in Toronto.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 11:15 AM EST (#266908) #
One more thought about "win now" mode - it looks like the NHL and NHLPA are doing their best to flush away another season. Imagine a winter of unspent Leafs $$, burning holes in TO sports fans pockets. The Leafs are the only team people actually go to see even when they suck. They didn't do anything in the offseason to convince me that they'll be any better than bottom-10 again (i.e. even if there's a hockey season, I doubt the Leafs will make the playoffs). While the excitement for the Jays has been building. One more "win now" trade, and I'll be there's a huge surge in attendance come April..
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 12:15 PM EST (#266913) #
If New York didn't leak like a sieve, you would have never know about this trade until it's done. A.A. is like that, New York never is.

The top Free Agent pitchers for 2014 are bleak, with Dickey and Johnson as the best. To get an extention signed as part of this deal complicates the deal to no end. A.A.will sign extensions with Dickey soon enough and with Johnson early. That makes it harder for every Team next year.

There is a narrow window of opportunity that exists right now for this Team that Alex is taking advantage of with this trade. New York is enamored with the Luxury Tax penalties they face. They are stuck with aging players with overpaying contracts and little end in site. We have a 2-4 year window here. Boston is " retooling" and doing it poorly. They'll be lucky to finish .500 next two years. We have a 2-3 year window here. Tampa Bay will not be better next year. You don't replace 200+ innings that easily, and not every player progresses at the same speed. We have a 1-2 year window here. I don't think Baltimore will ever beat us again - ever.

If you trade for a top player, your #1 prospect usually goes in the deal and if it's a top Pitcher, you also add your top Pitching prospect as part of the price. The Latos and Gonzales trades cost more.

Aaron Sanchez is better than Noah Syndergaard. I consider Roberto Osuna as being better than both. He's about a level or two behind, yet has done better than both being younger by one and one-half years. Our Minor System is still strong, about in the top half in Baseball still.

The talented J.A. Happ moves into the Bullpen as the 6th Starter/Long Man, with Chad Jenkins in AAA as 7th Starter. If A.A. Could get Familia or Mejia back in this trade, Chad becomes 8th Starter.
Charlie - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 12:25 PM EST (#266914) #
If D'Arnaud is traded then we have no feasible replacement for JPA in the next few seasons, barring another trade or an FA signing. This causes me to wonder - what is the opportunity cost of not dealing JPA as we enter our contention "window" (and while he still has some trade value)? Can we win with a catcher with questionable defensive skills and a high .200s OBP? That's basically what Pat Borders was during the World Series years, with the obvious exception of the '92 postseason when he hit like Johnny Bench. The rest of the lineup during those years was very good so a direct comparison between that team and the 2013-2015 Jays may not be quite fair, but I think it at least shows we can win with a JPA type catcher.

It would be better to have an upgrade, and D'Arnaud might have turned into a significant upgrade at some point during the window, but I feel like a starting rotation thick with top shelf MLB talent is going to get the Jays closer to the postseason faster. I will admit though that after 20 years without a postseason team, my discounting rate on minor league prospects is quite high.

bpoz - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 12:29 PM EST (#266915) #
I love reading all the analysis.

I loved Steib & Key. Steib was incredible 200++ IP/yr. Somehow I always felt that both Steib & Key should have got more wins.
Delgado was good but we had Olerud. I will concede that Delgado was probably better and also cheaper being a young player with no bargaining power. Neither was in the George Brett category as hitters IMO.

Syndergaard is being brought along slowly unlike HS pitchers B Saberhagen & D Gooden. So I would start to seriously judge him in AA ball. We will see. He has the stuff to be an Ace. But many have the stuff but do not become Aces.
Charlie - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 12:31 PM EST (#266916) #
I suppose that was harsh on Borders to compare his defensive skills to those of JPA. I was quite young when Borders was our backstop but I don't recall him being regarded as a special defensive talent. Could be way wrong on that.
ayjackson - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 12:44 PM EST (#266918) #
You get the sense that AA has told the Mets "stop the leaks or we're out".
Mylegacy - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 12:52 PM EST (#266919) #
OK girls, I'm up after a long refreshin' sleep-in on a December Sunday - good day today for a round of golf. Damn, this Nanaimo livin' is tough.

d"Arnaud and Syndergaard are like "whoa" - like "crikey," "whatever," wouldn't those two mega-stars-of-the-future be almost enough to get King Felix? Little d and big S for a knuckleballer!! Those two guys for - say Wakefield (even Wakefield on steroids) - really? Who the f*ck is this masked knuckler that ANYONE - especially someone as heretofore reasonably sane as the Greek Geek of Ninja - can think he's a freakin' honest to goodness ace?

Breathe in...count to ten...

I now think - and WAY MORE IMPORTANTLY - so does Alexander the Great - that Dickey's Doo is not only not a mirage, not only not a knuckler-on-steroids but is actually an amazing evolutionary advance on pitching perfection.

Just before he was going to wash out of pro ball Dickey became a knuckler. Like most other of his kin, he learned to throw the wobbly ball above and under chins. Like all knucklers of that era he threw the ball so freakin' slow his ugly fastball looked like a real fastball. He was almost adequate. Almost.

THEN - after a talk with Phil Nekro (as reported by the Great Dickey himself in the 12/10/201 edition of ESPN's normally useless rag of a magazine) he started to throw the Wobbly Wonder faster - lots faster - faster than anyone had ever thrown it. AND WOW. It didn't act like a "real" knuckler. It went in at near 80 mph and then at the last second it broke like a knuckler - up, down, left, right with no warning. It was near deadly. He put together 2010 and 2011 really getting the feel for it the results were electric. Then came 2012 and the Universe (as we had all know it) Unraveled.

In 2010 and 2011 when Dickey got in a "hitters" count he threw his ickish fastball (to avoid walking the batter). In 2012 - around late May to early June he REVOLUTIONIZED his strategy. His fastball went from 30%(ish) of his pitches to a mid-teen(ish)% of his pitches. He started guys off with his "Slow" WW (Wobbly Wonder) and finished them off with his "fast WW.

The results...wait for it... his K/BB rate DOUBLED!!

RAD is something new, something freakish, something wonderful.

What does this all mean for Alexander the Great? Simple - AA is all-in. All in on the Jays going-all-in. All in on having his career defined by this off-seasons moves. All in from being on his way to the Hall or out the door. Our loveable chubby cherub has thrown the dice - hired to be fired - he's making his move. I for one am impressed, amazed and filled with joy and hope and not only because the guy in the red suit will soon be bringing me all manner of great baseball books and annuals. The man we all hoped might be the "man" is making his move and win or lose - this is going to be a run for the ages. Win lose or draw - time for a single malt. I'm making mine a double.

Alex - I love ya. I trust ya. Go for glory. Who would have it any other way!

hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 01:52 PM EST (#266921) #
Done deal - more or less

Contingent on the Jays being able to work out an extension, which is why Syndergaard is part of the trade. Travis and Noah for 3 years of Dickey makes sense, for 1 year doesn't.
Wildrose - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:16 PM EST (#266923) #
I could still see this deal coming apart. I imagine the extension numbers will be much higher than the 2 years and 26 million dollars reported. It would be hard though for Dickey to return to the Mets, there seems to be a certain amount of animus between both parties.
Chuck - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:20 PM EST (#266926) #

there seems to be a certain amount of animus between both parties

Yes, not unlike that between North and South Korea.

whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:27 PM EST (#266927) #
Question about Dickey. Is his knuckler a max effort pitch? At 80 mph i have to imagine it is close. I ask because im wondering about turnaround. Wakefield used to be able to go 9 innings and could come out of the bullpen the next day. It could be an interesting scenario in the playoffs.
hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:29 PM EST (#266928) #
"I imagine the extension numbers will be much higher than the 2 years and 26 million dollars reported"

Why? I'm guessing about $1 MM a year extra. Any more than that, the Jays could well walk away. I'm sure both he and his agent realize he's 38 and there a a great range of possible outcomes if he simply plays out the year.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:34 PM EST (#266929) #
I would like to see the Jays obtain a team option for 2016. Realistically, maybe something like:

2013: $5M
2014: $12.5M
2015: $13.5M
2016: $14.5M (team option)
TamRa - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:37 PM EST (#266930) #
On the question about how much you can win with JPA as yourcatcher. In 2012 he had an 89 OPS+ and it's not unreasonable to suspect at his age that that figure has room to tick upward a little, so here's some recent playoff teams with catchers who were low ninties or worse offensively - excluding a few with sterling defensive reputations such as as Yadier Molina

2012 - Texas : Torrealba - 86
2011 - Milwaukee : Lucroy - 90
2010 - Texas : Tranor - 57
2009 - L.a. : Martin - 89
2008 - Boston :Varitek - 73
2008 - Milwaukee : Kendell - 74 (Defensive rep, but older so...?)
2007 - Colorado : Torrealba - 762007 - Arizona : Snyder - 94

You don't have to go back to Pat Borders.

On the other hand - the question of who gets called if JP goes down...Thole was actually a reasonable offensive contributor before last year (97 OPS+) but there will have to be the addition of the best possible option one can manage to land on a minor leaguedeal, or a trade for a catcher with options. I would expect that they have a standing offer to guys like Torrealba, Treanor and Shoppach if they are willing to accept minor league deals (which I assume they won't until February is looming and they are still unsigned).


Unlike most folks, I'm fine with dealing Syndergaard - that's the cost of doing business. I'm going to take a long time to get over losing d'Arnaud

hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:39 PM EST (#266931) #
Dickey was seeking 26-28 from the Mets. I think 2 years for around 28-30. I'm positive he won't take only 26 million plus give the team an option.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:40 PM EST (#266932) #
Term could take forever with both years and options and buyouts needing discussion. Money might be a sticking point as I suspect there's a number A.A. won't go past. Even if money and term are agreed on, the other details in every contract could take forever. Tuesday 12 Noon Eastern/ 3 PM Pacific is our deadline.
Gerry - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:42 PM EST (#266933) #
Before the final deal is announced, I hope, hope, hope that the d'Arnaud plus Syndergaard deal that was reportedly on the table yesterday was the Mets "ask" and that this morning the Mets backed off and the final deal will not have both in there.

Wishful thinking? I hope not.
Geoff - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 02:54 PM EST (#266934) #
I hope that AA sticks to his guns of principles of negotiations and really drives the Mets hard for letting information get out during negotiations. Penalize them and rule out discussion of a player or all players whose names are trotted out to hungry scribes and weasels. Let them know that nobody in this organization is laughing at their funny business.

I'd also be amused if the Jays gave Dickey a 20-year, $100 million contract and let him see how long a career he can make of it. So I'm not all there upstairs.
greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:01 PM EST (#266935) #
This trade (if accurately reported) is tough to take, but on balance I'm in favour of it. My reasons:

- Dickey has a demonstrated track record, having been outstanding over the last three years. There is a good chance he continues to be a valuable front-rotation starter

- He's pretty much the ideal addition to the rotation, adding depth, quality *and* innings (the latter a huge plus for this staff)

- A two-year extension would give the Jays three full years of control (four if they can obtain a team option), which nicely meshes with the remaining years on the contracts / controllable years of other core players (Bautista, EE, Morrow, Reyes, Buehrle, Romero, Cabrera, Lawrie, Izturis) - the Jays could have a run of at least three years of legit contention, even if they lose Johnson to free agency after 2013

- It potentially allows the Jays to come charging out of the gate in 2013 - no waiting around for reinforcements at the trade deadline. And it puts the team in a position to make a serious run at the divisional title, which would allow them to avoid the "coin toss" wild card game

- It could give the Jays a potentially dominant playoff rotation

- Next year's free agent starting pitching crop looks weak, which will make pitching (especially front-rotation pitching) harder than ever to acquire - the Jays are getting ahead of the curve

- The RC seems like a potentially good pitching environment for Dickey

- Assuming his contract demands are being accurately reported, he will be very reasonably priced

- While the farm system has clearly taken a big hit, the organization still has some prospects to dream on (including Sanchez, Stroman, Osuna, Norris, Davis, Smoral, Nolln, Jimenez, Nessy, Tirado, Barreto and others)

- Lastly: this deal *has* to be a powerful incentive for Oliver to come back. If he can't get excited about this team, then he probably *is* ready for retirement...
Wildrose - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:03 PM EST (#266936) #
Why? I'm guessing about $1 MM a year extra. Any more than that, the Jays could well walk away. I'm sure both he and his agent realize he's 38 and there a a great range of possible outcomes if he simply plays out the year.

I think his agent is going to state the obvious, knuckleballers don't age like other pitchers and why should my client the Cy Young winner take less than market value than other free agents ( by opening the negotiation window you are essentially making him a free agent to a large degree)? I mean Anibal Sanchez who by ERA is ranked # 38 overall , compared to Dickey at # 10 over the past 3 years is getting $ 20 million per year for 5 seasons.

If you look at the money being tossed around this off-season it would be awfully tempting for Dickey to become a free agent after 2013 and choose his own landing spot in what is a very restricted pitching market.

I read this quote from Charlie Hough recently, " it took me one day to learn to throw a knuckleball and a lifetime to learn to throw it for strikes" Dickey has learned how to throw it for strikes ( it's been a long process starting in 2005). It's a very hard pitch to learn how to master, but once you do because it's thrown with much less torsion and effort ( 30-40 % less than others pitches it's said) , knucklers generally speaking can have much more extended careers than their much more harder throwing compatriots.

I think he has a good 4 to 5 years left in him ( comparing him to other knucklers ) and honestly I hope they extend him 3/4 years past 2013 ( perhaps with some sort of club option ). I do think that both parties will find some sort of middle ground given how far the Jays have gone on this move

Ryan Day - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:16 PM EST (#266937) #
Can we win with a catcher with questionable defensive skills and a high .200s OBP? That's basically what Pat Borders was during the World Series years

Except that Arencibia has power, while Borders couldn't do much of anything with a bat in his hands.

It's probably worth considering that Arencibia is entering his prime now, so if he's going to figure something out - or just have some really freakish year where he somehow hits .280 - it's more likely to happen over the next 2-3 years. Even Pat Borders managed to hit 286/319/497 when he was 27, which is ridiculously out of line with the rest of his career.
Dave Till - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:17 PM EST (#266938) #
I don't want to count my R. A. Dickeys before they're hatched, but I think I understand what AA is doing here.

First off: the fan base is getting restless. If he had only signed Maicer Izturis and maybe a mid-level starter, people would wonder whether Rogers was pinching pennies, and might desert the ballclub in droves.

Second: new TV contracts are flooding money into the system. The two Los Angeles teams are spending money at unprecedented rates. It's actually more market-efficient to take on existing expensive contracts than to go out and try to buy talent on the free-agent market. Look at Boston, for example.

Third: the AL East is weaker than it has been in many a moon. The Yankees are older than dirt, and their big signing of the offseason was Kevin Youkilis. The Red Sox traded one bunch of expensive players - in a move roughly equivalent to knocking all the chess pieces off the board when you discover that you're losing - and are now trying to win by buying a whole bunch of so-so expensive free agents in the hope that they will magically turn into superstars. (That, and hire John Farrell for his, cough, dream job.) The Rays are an outstanding organization, but they just traded one of their best starters, and aren't going to be able to afford to keep much of their talent. And the Orioles are genuinely better than they were, but won't be this lucky next year. The time to get into the postseason is now.

Fourth: The rules for acquiring draft picks and international talent have changed. It is now much more difficult to patiently build a contender through the farm system.

I will hate to lose d'Arnaud and Syndergaard, if that is what is actually being given up. But (again, if this is true), the Jays' starting rotation sounds like something from one of those fantasy baseball leagues where 12 owners get to draft talent from both leagues. A rotation of Dickey, Johnson, Buerhle, Morrow and Romero (with J. A. Happ quietly cursing fate and lurking in the background) is a rotation that threatens to turn the bullpen into the equivalent of the mythical Maytag repairmen from the old commercials - they'll sit around in the bullpen slowly getting bored and maybe playing Scrabble or writing epic poems, as there won't be much actual work for them to do. And maybe Gibbons will need one or two fewer relief pitchers and thus will be able to build an actual bench. We can dream, can't we?

greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:32 PM EST (#266939) #
I think an important question is: what happens if the Jays and Dickey can't work out a deal? Does the trade collapse, or do the Jays still have to give up (say) d'Arnaud for a year of Dickey? AA needs some leverage right about now.
Chuck - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:43 PM EST (#266940) #

The time to get into the postseason is now.

Absolutely, Dave. If this isn't the carpe diemest time to make hay, I'm not sure when is.

I will hate to lose d'Arnaud and Syndergaard

As will most, but that's the price of doing business. The parent team has been so uninspiring for so long that many fans have chosen to become prospectphiles. Investing time to follow the players on the farm brings with it an unbridled enthusiasm for their futures, with objectivity often an unfortunate casualty in the analysis. For anyone who doubts this, just look back at the threads over the years where prospects were discussed. Lots of rosey evaluations.

greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 03:57 PM EST (#266941) #
I think the interesting question has to do with opportunity cost.

Would the Jays have been better off keeping Syndergaard and d'Arnaud and signing, say, Dempster or Jackson or McCarthy? To me, this is the real issue. Assuming the Jays see an opportunity to win now (say, over the next two or three years), is the advantage of Dickey over these other options that great, given the cost of acquiring him?

I think it might be, for all the reasons I recently mentioned. AA and his front office team must be convinced that Dickey is that good - that signing someone like Dempster or Jackson wouldn't give them enough separation in the highly competitive AL East.

It is disappointing that the Jays couldn't get Ike Davis (who had a solid second half last year) thrown in. If you're going to include d'Arnaud and Syndergaard, why not expand the deal somewhat and obtain Davis, which would more or less complete the Jays' shopping list? No doubt the Jays tried to pry him away...
Jonny German - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:02 PM EST (#266942) #
Wow, Dirk Hayhurst just ripped off greenfrog's earlier comment verbatim and uncredited.

dalimon5 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:06 PM EST (#266943) #
Unless Greenfrog = DH
dalimon5 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:10 PM EST (#266945) #
Nevermind, he freely admits he stole the comments...
greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:11 PM EST (#266946) #
Wow. Nice to be quoted by another writer, especially a talented one like Dirk, but some credit would be nice. It's not cool to quote without attribution (especially so extensively).

Thanks for pointing this out, Jonny. I often get the feeling that certain baseball journalists / commentators regularly cull this site for ideas, if not actual words.
hypobole - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:14 PM EST (#266947) #
Regarding prospects, i did a quick perusal of the '11 and '12 Top 30's. By my quick count, 12 from the 2011 list are gone or soon will be - 10 gone in the Santos/Happ/Marlin/Dickey trades, McDade claimed by Cleveland and the sad case of Mitchell Taylor. Of the remaining 18 from 2011, only 2 had a good enough '12 to really improve their stock - Nolin and Sanchez. Hutch and to a lesser extent Coop could have, but for injury. Gose and Sierra did about what was expected and the rest pretty well all went backwards.

I may have missed someone, but basically, such are prospects.
jerjapan - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:20 PM EST (#266948) #
Martin over at Tamara's blog has an article about the deal as currently rumoured.  midway through he writes:

Between all that has happened this winter, if this deal goes through as rumored, the Jays will probably drop from having one of the best farms in the league, to having an average to below average one. Their farm isn't empty at all like how JPR left it, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that even after this deal the Jays would still have plenty of pieces they could make available in trade.

Personally, I think we are still an above average system if this deal goes through, although maybe outside of the top 10.  Bauxites, what do you think? 

Geoff - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:39 PM EST (#266949) #
I think ranking systems are misleading and overrated. They present the #4 challenge to the dissemination of good knowledge in the world.

They are also the best example of wasting your time in the context of things you can do to amuse yourself and others.

Notwithstanding this, I look forward to the debate over who the #3 starter in this organization will be next year.
whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:41 PM EST (#266950) #
I would probably have the farm in the late teens if the deal goes as follows. We would be terribly short on position prospects and prospects in the high minors. That said a couple of fast movers (dj davis, stroman, osuna) could have us back up there quickly.
whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:45 PM EST (#266951) #
I think that buerhle deserves the #3 label because of his track record of innings eating. Plus it keeps our two lefties apart. But i just love the idea of alternating flame thrower with soft tosser (i.e. Jj, RAD, Morrow, Buerhle). That could screw with teams timing for weeks afterwards.
Beyonder - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 04:50 PM EST (#266952) #
I don't know about having an average farm system. Even before these two trades denuded the system, the BA folks commented in one of their podcasts that due to a combination of disappointing performances from a number of high profile prospects (many from the 2011 draft), along with a high number of prospects who prematurely "graduated" to the bigs, the Jays farm barely ranked in the top ten. Hard to disagree with them. The 2011 draftees could not have had a more disappointing start to their careers, almost down to the last one.
Thomas - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:06 PM EST (#266953) #
I think the system will be in the high teens. There are a lot of prospects to dream on, but so does nearly every system outside the worst two or three. The Jays will have one top 50 prospect and another top 100 prospect after this trade, I expect. A number of their high round picks from the last couple of years haven't shown much and they have lost a lot of top-level talent and depth through these two trades and the Happ deal. The hit may be worth it, but there's been a big hit.

A side benefit to this trade that may have entered AA's thinking is that further increasing the odds of the Jays making the playoffs this year and remaining competitive for the next couple of seasons with Dickey and Buehrle under contract may slightly increase the likelihood of Josh Johnson signing an extension here.

All that being said, I can certainly understand the reasoning behind making the trade, but I'd have had a hard time including both d'Arnaud and Syndergaard in the deal. I'm all in favour of striking while there is an opportunity, but it's just an awfully heavy price.
Chuck - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:12 PM EST (#266954) #

It's not cool to quote without attribution (especially so extensively).

There is an attribution there now.


China fan - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:20 PM EST (#266955) #
So who's the starting catcher for Buffalo now? With both d'Arnaud and Gomes gone, does the starting job go to Ochinko? Is there any chance Jiminez could win the job, either in spring training or perhaps mid-season? Or will the Jays just wait for a former MLB catcher to accept a minor-league contract?
whiterasta80 - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:20 PM EST (#266956) #
Another side benefit is that we presumably wont be dealing with a 40 man roster crunch for a while. Four months ago I was wondering how we would keep all our talent in the system. Even still we lost Mike Mcdade and exposed some reasonable names in the rule 5.
China fan - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:23 PM EST (#266957) #
I suppose Jeroloman is another option for the Buffalo catching job....
Mike Green - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:39 PM EST (#266958) #
For a "win-now" trade, it is unusual in that there is a reasonable possibility that d'Arnaud will be a greater improvement on JPA in 2013 than Dickey over Happ.  Assuming that all parties are now 100% healthy and ready to perform at the start of the year, I wouldn't trade d'Arnaud and Syndergaard for Dickey.  Assuming good health, I think that you are gaining about 1 win in 2013 at a very high cost.  You could gain two wins much more cheaply by dealing with the DH situation, and addressing the pitching depth issue at a lower level.

For comparison, in the Halladay trade, AA acquired three good prospects but none were ready to go.  It was easy to see the trade from both sides.  Not so this one.  The common assumption here seems to be that Dickey is a great pitcher.  Yes, he just won a Cy Young award, but if you look at the whole picture including his injury risk, he's probably got a 3.5 WAR expectation for 2013 with slow declines after that (in light of the fact he is a knuckleballer).  d'Arnaud's expectation is probably a little lower (factoring in injury risk), but not much. 

Lylemcr - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 05:58 PM EST (#266960) #

I lived in Seattel when they had the 116 win season.  They would not trade any of thier top prospects for one more big bat (The fans wants Juan Gonzalez).  Well, they lost in the first round of the playoffs and none of these prospects amounted to anything.  I specifically remember this prospect who they called baby Randy Johnson.  He was hurt next year, and never played again. 

Let's talk about 3 years from now... worst case scenario

- The trades are made... Everyone traded for busts or are hurt.  The Jays flirt with the playoffs and AA loses his job.

- The trades are NOT made....  The prospects don't pan out, EE and Bautista start going down hill....  AA loses his job.

So... If the time is now, AA needs to do these trades.  I think they are more likely to win a World Series now with the team they have now than 3 years from now when the team is built around the prospects. 

Also, the cupboard is still not bare.  3 years from now, there will be three more drafts and there are still some good young players there.  Also, next year, let's say Sanchez was ready to come up....  What roster spot is he going in? 

I hope the trade happens. 

greenfrog - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 06:02 PM EST (#266961) #
Thanks to Dirk Hayhurst for the attribution (and a nice mention for Batter's Box).
Lylemcr - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 06:18 PM EST (#266962) #

I also want to point out that this trade will bring back the fans....  Which will bring back the $$...  This will loosen the wallet of Rogers a bit. 

The Jays could then act a little more like Yankees instead of the Rays..

Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 06:26 PM EST (#266963) #
I had forgotten Brian Jeroloman was still with the Organization. How big a hit we take in where the System places is dependent on some thing prior to next years draft:
1) If Anthony Alford comes over from the dark side, the status of the outfield improves a little.
2) The 2012 picks need to improve their lot in life and play better baseball.
3) The Becerra, Labourt, Barreto, Lugo, Osuna, Tirado, Cardona IFA signings are progressing fast, which might hold it together for this team.
4) The Smoral suspension and the Stroman injury cost them prospect value.

I think A.A. is drafting as well as he can, especially last year. This year (pick#10) could be a game changer, so care must be taken to do it well.

I would do this trade in a heartbeat. Just think: Knuckleball, Right, Left, Right, Left, Knuckleball, Right, Left, Right, Left will confuse many teams as everyone's stuff is different. Just that rotation alone could generate extra win potential for us.
Gerry - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 06:45 PM EST (#266964) #
I believe Jeroloman is a free agent.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 07:58 PM EST (#266965) #
You are correct Gerry, thank you very much.
electric carrot - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 07:59 PM EST (#266966) #
I think that you are gaining about 1 win in 2013


I guess I don't agree.  Here's the logic:

First of all let's not forget that we're not just talking about Dickey over Happ.  Dickey over whoever would have been our #5 guy.  We all know the season is long and pitchers get injured and Happ is likely to get into the rotation at some point in the season even if Dickey signs.  Also, remember Dickey does well in the stadiums and very few hitters will have seen Dickey before.  I would say Dickey's Wins Above Whoever Would Have Been Our #5 (DWAWWHBO5) in 2013 is likely in the 3-3.5 wins range.  (Dickey averaged about 4 WAR in the last three years.)

I don't think D'Arnaud as a rookie is likely to be a better hitter than JP in 2013 although I expect his defense would be better. Overall, I think it's likely that JP will be higher WAR next year than D'Arnaud (although not likely after that.)

3-3.5 wins is a lot and I could easily see that being the difference between playoffs and no playoffs in 2013 (14 & 15)  Also, it makes a huge difference once you're in the playoffs when you can start with three potential #1 pitchers (Dickey, Johnson, Morrow.) 

grjas - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 08:02 PM EST (#266967) #
At 38, Dickey won't get many opps to play for a team this least on paper. Hopefully that plays into his thinking.

Still not sure about this one, but it does remind me of the " Cone for Kent and one other" trade of 20 years ago. Again with the Mets. Worked better for us than them. WS#1 for us, and kent didn't blossom till he left NY. Hopefully lightening strikes twice.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 08:24 PM EST (#266971) #
Dickey has been a 4 WAR player on average over the last 3 years, and he has been healthy.  Projecting anything more than 3.5 WAR for him seems to me to be very optimistic. A combination of Happ/Cecil/Nolin would probably be about 1.5 WAR.  So, you have a 2 WAR gain that way; it is 2.5 WAR if you really want to stretch it. d'Arnaud vs. JPA ought to be about a 1 WAR loss (CAIRO has JP at .232/.287/.446 and d'Arnaud at .259/.309/.443 and d'Arnaud is a better defender). 

I should say that I really don't have particular subjective preferences.  I like knuckleballers (and Dickey in particular), catchers who can hit and play decent D, and tall very young pitching prospects who can throw 100 mph and have decent control. 

electric carrot - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:11 PM EST (#266972) #
A combination of Happ/Cecil/Nolin would probably be about 1.5 WAR.

Cecil and Happ combined for about 200 innings last year at .2 WAR.  I see that as being a decent projection for the #5 starter without Dickey.  I think Dickey is likely to be near a 3.5 which is why I would imagine a 3+ wins more with Dickey over our #5.

I don't see a 1 WAR difference between JPA and D'Arnaud in 2013, but in some ways that's academic because the Blue Jays I don't think were likely to give D'Arnaud many at bats in 2013 anyway. Even if you were right about D'Arnaud's potential it's unlikely to have affected the bottom line much in Jay land. 
Mike Green - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:25 PM EST (#266973) #
Well, look at it another way then.  If the club had traded Arencibia and a lower level prospect than Syndergaard, they could probably have acquired a 2 WAR starting pitcher and used d'Arnaud as their catcher.  This would have been better, in my view. 

It is hard to measure the defensive difference between d'Arnaud and Arencibia; I guess we will see how the pitching staff does in 2013 compared to expectations and we will see how Arencibia contributes positively or negatively to that. 
sam - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:38 PM EST (#266974) #
What's this Hayhurst business?

I'm not the biggest fan of this deal. I value the prospects and their upside more than the most, but this trade does add an exceptional pitcher and Cy Young winner so my complaint is perhaps muted by the stature of the pitcher.

I don't see why Ike Davis and Adam Lind were not involved in this deal. I agree with what Davidi said the other day. If A.A. asked for Josh Johnson and was told the price was Hechavarria and Nicolino and then turned around and said well there's got to be more on your end. Why is this case different? I mean one can gather a similar situation was presented in this case. The Jays asked for Dickey and was told it would cost d'Arnaud and Syndergaard--two markedly better prospects than Hechevarria and Nicolino--yet Anthopoulos seems to have accepted that price and not asked for more in return?

I tend to look at the trade in two lights. Optimistically, Dickey is the Cy Young winner we acquired who performs to similar levels over the duration of his extension (three years). Syndergaard remains the pitcher I have seen on multiple occassions--an excellent fastball, but lack of secondary offerings condemns him to a bullpen role. d'Arnaud, who has only come through one full season unscathed, struggles with injury and subsequently frustrates.

Or, the more likely scenario, Dickey puts up respectable, yet unspectacular numbers. Runs into an injury, which plagues a year or two of the deal--considering his age--spouts off to the media once or twice. d'Arnaud becomes a Buster Posey-lite, and Syndergaard develops a neat little breaking ball and becomes a pseudo Matt Garza (Rays' years) pitcher, throwing his fastball 70%+ of the time to good effect. Oh, and we have to watch JP Arencibia struggle to handle a pitching staff.

The deal also deprives the Jays of valuable chips at the trade deadline, which could be put to good use on a LH middle of the order bat as both Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus struggle to handle fifth and protecting Encarnacion.
electric carrot - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:43 PM EST (#266975) #
I don't think I agree with either of your arguments. First of all, if you really are gunning to win in 2013, I don't think it's a good idea to go with a rookie catcher.  I know JPA doesn't have a great reputation defensively or calling a game, (I'm not a good judge of either) but he's at least done it at a major league level and had a chance to learn from his mistakes. D'Arnaud would be coming in never having caught Major League pitching and would need to learn all the pitchers AND all the hitters. Seems like a recipe for disaster for him and a trial for the new pitchers -- some of whom are coming from a new league.

Secondly your 2 WAR pitcher isn't going to look so great matched up against Sabathia or Verlander or Weaver or Darvish if you make it into the playoffs.  I think Ace pitching is the most important thing to win in the playoffs.  I think Dickey gets us into the playoffs and sets us up as a tougher team to beat once we're there.

electric carrot - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:45 PM EST (#266976) #
This comment above is directed to Mike Green's comment.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 09:57 PM EST (#266977) #
Why is this case different?

Sam, I always read your posts with interest, but I can't see much of a similarity between the two situations. With Miami, Toronto was dealing with a team desperate to trade off a load of salary - the result of Miami's foray into the 2011 free agent market, as well as get back a respectable return.

New York is in no way desperate to trade Dickey's 2012 salary of $5million. Nor it is desperate to trade to Toronto, or at all. It can trade elsewhere, trade at the deadline, let him pitch for $5 million this year, or sign him to a $25 million extension for two years according to reports.

Secondly, Toronto wants to negotiate an extension and to get a window is as you know something you pay for. If the window results in the trade falling apart, then the Mets are in a worse position because any other trading partner will know that Toronto is no longer a competitor for Dickey.

And finally, in terms of the 'blow-by-blow' of what's said in trade discussions, we are dependent entirely on speculation. We have no idea what was said during the course of the Miami discussions.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 10:10 PM EST (#266978) #

1) New York Mets were unwilling to go beyond $20 over two years.

2) No one else was willing to give the Mets exactly what the Mets wanted: young stud MLB-ready Catcher - d'Arnaud was the Number 1 Catcher not in the Major leagues.

3) At the Mets Xmas Party, Dickey said the wrong thing - basically wore out his welcome.

John Northey - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 11:07 PM EST (#266980) #
I do find it interesting how many people here feel JPA is not a good catcher, yet the Jays seem very comfortable with him back there and I cannot recall hearing of pitchers avoiding him or trying to get a 'personal catcher'.  Still, lets try to check some figures...
Via FanGraphs...
RPP: catcher runs prevented due to preventing passed balls: +1.9 last year, -6.0 the year before.
rSB: runs via stolen bases saved: -3 last year, -5 the year before
rGFP: Good fielding plays runs saved +5 last year, -2 the year before
DRS: total defensive runs saved above average (factoring in rSB & rGFP) +3 last year, -5 the year before
Fielding via FanGraphs: -1.1 last year, -11.0 the year before

Those stats all strongly suggest he was very weak as a rookie and significantly improved in 2012 to the point where he is a league average catcher.  He might have learned a lot via having two top defensive catchers in Molina and Mathis around the past two years.  From all interviews I've seen it appears he does try to soak in as much as possible too.  Pitch framing has him at -12.9 runs in 2011 (via this link) if I read it correctly, extremely poor.  I cannot find 2012 data though no matter where I look sadly enough.

Still, bottom line is JPA is probably a league average defensive catcher at this point.  Framing and blocking can continue to improve from what I understand, and managing a pitching staff is something no one has quite figured out how to measure yet.  I see JPA as a guy who won't hurt and won't help much.  d'Arnaud has the potential to be a major help but in 2013 might be a major negative as he learns ML staffs - rookie catchers rarely are viewed as great defensively unless they have a killer arm and there is more than just throwing out runners to catching.

Thus, for contending in 2013 I think JPA is a better choice than d'Arnaud.  In 2014 and beyond though it is much harder to say plus we have no idea at this point if d'Arnaud will continue to be a catcher.  Remember, AA was talking of d'Arnaud being the DH this year with time at 1B at one point.

Mike Forbes - Sunday, December 16 2012 @ 11:21 PM EST (#266981) #
Arencibia is probably one of the worst catchers I can remember at blocking balls in the dirt. Especially with runners on base. Of course, I can't prove that, but it's just something I noticed. Would be nice to see the actual stats though.
sam - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:14 AM EST (#266982) #

I agree with you, the situation now with the Mets is by no means identical to the Marlin situation. Nonetheless, I do hold that there are similarities here that do warrant some questioning. AA was explicit in his narration of the Marlin deal, that he asked for JJ and was told by Beinfest that they were interested in the aforementioned players. AA turned around and said we need more.

Again, we are not privy to the negotiating this time around so I think you're right to say my argument in largely void.

I am disappointed with the trading of d'Arnaud and Syndergaard. They were always the type of guys you probably hold on to as their ceilings and chances for success are quite high.

I'm less inclined to devolve to metrics to measure a catcher's worth than any position. Grading a catcher is very subjective. You'll come across scouts and evaluators who devalue the nuances of the position and others who place a premium on the subtle body positioning, the shift in weight to center a pitch up, or the wrist turn as the pitcher releases the ball to catch the ball at just the right distance from his body. I tend to sway towards the ladder as I once fancied myself a catcher and was grilled day-in-day-out by some well-respected baseball people to catch like that. Most scouts assume these abilities can be taught-drafting or prospecting physical specimens. Can he throw, what's his pop time, and what's the frame? I like to think it's one of those you have it, or you don't type things.

To the eye Arencibia is by no means a disaster. However, he lacks game feel and the subtle nuances of the position. I have on a number of occasions felt like he has called poor games. On a couple occasions I noted that the game was often getting called from the dugout. His situational play I find poor as well. I mean, letting a guy to advance a base in a crucial situation or simply selling out to the runner in his setup. If you watch carefully, he routinely drops to one knee when the ball is pitched. This is a cardinal sin (among others) for the catcher. It closes you off from blocking the ball or moving with the pitch, it creates a poor viewing of the pitch as you're likely lunging in that position and does not look like the pitch is square to the catcher's body. Moreover, it implies (the knee drop) the pitch is low or in the dirt. Umpires see these things. Baseball happens in nanoseconds and mm.

Simply put, I think he lacks that je ne sais quoi. That in-game feel to sell your body out in that crucial situation where under no circumstances does that ball how far in front of the plate or how high gets by you. He always leaves you wanting and over the course of a season to someone like Gibby--a former catcher--I think we'll see more Josh Thole.

I would've liked to have seen d'Arnaud and John Buck split duties this season. I don't necessarily buy that notion that a rookie catcher can't catch a playoff team. Buster Posey won the World Series as a rookie catcher, Yadier Molina went to the World Series, so not sure I buy that.
Jake W - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:27 AM EST (#266983) #
I've read a lot about d'Arnaud over the last year and was wondering where he stands next to Lieberthal, Kendall and Javy Lopez. From Baseball Prospectus, they do not give d'Arnaud more than a 6 out of 8 for any of his tools and (as I recall) have read that while he doesn't have any plus-plus tools he has average to above average tools across the board. In this day, this makes the best catching prospect in baseball. From Baseball Prospectus "Could develop into top-shelf bat at position, with .275-plus batting average and 17-25 HR power potential." Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see him as Carlos Santana, Buster Posey or Matt Wieters.

Syndergaard adds a little to the pain as he looks good from the few clips I've seen of him throw. However, I wonder about what the risk assessment is with him given that he seems to have an inverted L in his delivery (for example, see 0:31 of this clip Baseball Prospectus writes that he seems to have some effort in his delivery.

Seems to be considerable risk with these two prospects. While I hate to lose what many seem to claim are two of the Jays' top three prospects, there seems to be just as much risk in these two as with an old hard-throwing knuckleballer... whose risk is hard to extrapolate given the unique nature of his velocity-knuckleball combo.

Of course, perhaps both these two are not actually in the deal. We'll see. I can understand AA's incentive to do the deal. What if Johnson injures himself or Romero continues what he was last year. Then we have Morrow, Buehrle, Happ. What would the playoff rotation look like if some duo out of Morrow, Johnson and Romero tank or succumbs to injury. This seems like a realistic probability so minimising risk by adding Dickey at the cost of two very good prospects seems reasonable if this is the year.

Furthermore, if Dickey is around for 2 more years then if Johnson leaves having Morrow and Dickey at the top of the rotation would not be so disastrous for 2014-2015. Mets to well if they end up with a good d'Arnaud catching Syndergaard, Harvey, Wheeler and Niese in a couple years time.

Hey, if it all falls to hell maybe the Jays trade Dickey for some top prospects.
Intricated - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:34 AM EST (#266984) #
If we choose to believe Bob Elliot, we might actually know how the trade discussions with the Marlins went down.  My twist to the key difference between Big Trade #1 and Big (In Principle) Trade #2 is to build off a quote from Bob's article:

The Jays wanted right-hander Johnson. -> knuckleballer Dickey.

The Marlins requested Hechavarria and Nicolino. -> Mets requested d'Arnaud and Gose.

Thinking long term and not being one arm away, the Jays said no. -> near term and actually being one arm away, the Jays said maybe, let's talk.

timpinder - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:45 AM EST (#266986) #

I'm not happy to see D'Arnaud and Synderguaard go and it does seem like a very steep price, but Dickey really puts the finishing touches on a team built to win 2013-2015 (with a bunch of team options for 2016 if things go well).  I don't think you'll be able to evaluate this trade fairly for a few years.  Even if D'Arnaud becomes Posey and Synderguaard becomes Verlander, I'd still make the deal if Dickey is a major part of the reason the Jays went to the playoffs for four straight years and won a World Series or two.  Ultimately, that's what it's all about.

greenfrog - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 08:50 AM EST (#266987) #
Red Sox sign Stephen Drew to a 1/9.5M contract. Fascinating contrast between Boston and Toronto's off-seasons this year:

Red Sox: no prospects traded, no draft picks lost. The following short-term free agents (1-3 year contracts) signed: Ross, Gomes, Napoli, Victorino, Dempster, Uehara, Drew (and Ortiz re-signed)


- Traded: Escobar, Mathis, Hechavarria, Nicolino, Marisnick, Alvarez, Aviles, Gomes, d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Buck and TBA

- Free agents added: Izturis, Cabrera, minor-league filler

- Trade acquisitions: Johnson, Reyes, Buehrle, Bonifacio, Rogers, Dickey, Thole, TBA

Essentially, Boston is biding its time while trying to give themselves a chance short-term (and possibly adding some deadline trade chips), while the Jays appear to be loading up for a two- or three-year run. I like the Jays' moves, but I think Boston's overall plan is sound.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 08:59 AM EST (#266989) #
Wow, if Drew gets that then thank God we don't have to sign Reyes on the open market.

I can't remember who I had the debate with about whether or not Reyes could get more money this offseason than last. I think this settles that debate.
Mike Green - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 09:09 AM EST (#266990) #
Secondly your 2 WAR pitcher isn't going to look so great matched up against Sabathia or Verlander or Weaver or Darvish if you make it into the playoffs.  I think Ace pitching is the most important thing to win in the playoffs.  I think Dickey gets us into the playoffs and sets us up as a tougher team to beat once we're there.

There isn't much difference in expectation between Dickey and Johnson/Buehrle/Morrow.  I was happy to imagine a playoff rotation headed by those latter three, with a more productive yet-to-be-acquired DH and rookie catcher.  Different dreams for different people, I guess.  Which is a lot better than no dreams at all.

eldarion - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 09:53 AM EST (#266991) #
I have a hard time getting behind this trade. A GMs job is all about asset management. I'm not convinced that trading two of our top three prospects for a 38 year old knuckleballer is the best investment. Surely some other team would be willing to entertain an offer of those two prospects plus some filler for a considerably younger #1 or #2 pitcher. As currently constituted, this trade makes me queasy.
greenfrog - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 09:59 AM EST (#266992) #
It would be interesting to know AA's internal evaluation of d'Arnaud and Syndergaard. How concerned was he, for example, about d'Arnaud's injury history and ability to withstand the workload of a starting catcher in the majors? Did he like Syndergaard's chances of becoming a #2 starter, or did he see a red flag or two?
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:05 AM EST (#266993) #
I think the one thing we can read is that he values Aaron Sanchez the highest out of the "big 3".
John Northey - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:05 AM EST (#266994) #
I guess the question becomes which aces were available?  The rumours of d'Arnaud being part of it were out there for a few days thus allowing other GM's to quickly call if they really wanted him.  Felix Hernandez is the only real 'ace' I can think of that might have been available due to his team coming in last in its division and being in a very tough division with 3 potential playoff teams in it and Seattle has said many times they won't trade him.  The Phillies with Lee & Halladay & Hammels making $20+ a year might have traded Lee or Halladay but they still feel they are in contention and with Carlos Ruiz behind the plate (149 OPS+) and Ryan Howard at first I don't see anywhere for d'Arnaud to play anyways.

Maybe there is another high end starter out there, but outside of signing Lohse for far too much (given his track record - in 2010 he had a 59 ERA+, 109 in 2011 before his 134 this year) or a mediocre #3 guy (all the rest) I don't see much and those other options are not appealing.
China fan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:30 AM EST (#266995) #
Looks like the Jays will probably pay between $30-million and $40-million to sign Dickey for an additional 2 to 3 years. Yet another addition to payroll.

If anyone wants an amusing read, or an example of how wrong we can be, have a look at this Batter's Box thread from early October, when many of us were absolutely convinced that the Jays will continue to be cheapskates and misers in 2013 and indefinitely thereafter (despite Anthopoulos explicitly saying that he was going to boost payroll and acquire MLB-ready talent). Yes, past is prologue, but we should never have assumed that the tendencies of the past can never be changed in the future. Here's the thread:
Beyonder - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:37 AM EST (#266996) #
I know it’s the ultimate conceit of fandom to presume you understand the intentions of team management, but while I’m excited to see what happens next year, I feel as though these moves are something very different from what I thought I signed on for. I also suspect the decision to literally “bet the farm (system)” has more to do with financial goals than team goals.

I thought the plan was more or less to follow Tampa’s strategy to about the halfway point: build talent through focus on the draft and IFA markets by aggressively scouting and acquiring extra picks until the team was organically on the verge of a playoff spot. Then – and only then – open the coffers to sign free agents, re-sign your prospects when their potential materializes, and when necessary trade prospects for strategic acquisitions. To me, this is a much more sustainable way of building a lasting contender. Indeed, to my hazy recollection, this is how we won our two championships.

Nothing about last season suggested that this was the right time to make this “all-in” move. Nothing in the team’s natural development this past year suggests its window for contending was looming any closer. With the exception of Encarnacion and Morrow, the team took a large step backwards pretty much across the board. Gutting the farm system in an attempt to transform a 73-win team with multiple holes and question marks into an instant contender seems like an unnecessary reach, and could easily leave the team exposed in the event that it comes up short in its charge to the playoffs.

I think this whole change of tactics is motivated by Rogers’ desire to maintain momentum in the attendance and merchandize departments at as low a cost as possible. IMO, the Dickey component of the overhaul is much less about acquiring a Cy Young winner, than it is about acquiring a Cy Young winner at about half the market price.
John Northey - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:38 AM EST (#266997) #
Thanks China Fan - love my comment here that suggests chasing Miami for Johnson/Buehrle and Reyes. I know I advocated chasing down Dickey as well along with my dream of getting King Felix - now if the Jays pull _that_ off at this point as well ... :)
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:51 AM EST (#266998) #
I have to imagine that AA has already made the call on the Felix Hernandez, Yovanni Gallardo, David Price, and Jarrod Parkers of the world. I also have to imagine that he will have at least a few teams calling with something else for that package, particularly if the negotiations with RAD go south.

At the same time, we are talking about a reigning Cy Young award winner and someone who has logged 600 innings the past 3 years with no sign of letting up. If he was 29 we wouldn't be thinking twice about this deal, we would be all over it.

So I wondered exactly how much we need to be worried about his age.

For the sake of simplicity (since I am at work) I looked at all the Cy Young Award winners aged 36 or older and then examined how they performed over the rest of their career. I will admit this is somewhat arbitrary choice as there are likely several 38 year olds who have finished top 5 in balloting etc... Nevertheless this is a defined metric which RAD has indeed achieved and I thought it would give some insight into whether we might expect him to carry his production into his 40s.

Here are all the 36+ year olds to win a Cy Young over the history of the award.

Randy Johnson (won the Cy at 36, 37, and 38, went on to 1100 mostly high-level innings after that with an all star appearance and a second place finish at 40)
Roger Clemens (went on to 1200 more innings, won another Cy Young and had 3 all star appearances. Aided chemically of course)
Steve Carlton (Pitched about 1000 more innings, admittedly at a reduced effectiveness, but still useful for a few more years)
Gaylord Perry (Cy at 39, an All star the next year before a gradual dropoff in quality. Still pitched over 800 more innings)
Early Wynn (Won the Cy at 39, was an all star next year but dropped off rapidly after that, 300+ more innings)
Warren Spahn (second in Cy Young balloting the next year and at age 40, 5 more all star appearances, about 2300 more IP... probably not fair to compare him to other humans).

So we are left with 6 of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game and R.A. Dickey. I have a hard time putting him in the company of the above pitchers for obvious reasons. At the same time every one of the above provided decent production (and decent health) into their 40s. So there is certainly precedent that if you can produce at the highest level in your late 30s that you can carry it into your 40s.
China fan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:55 AM EST (#266999) #
"....Gutting the farm system in an attempt to transform a 73-win team with multiple holes and question marks into an instant contender seems like an unnecessary reach...."

But the Jays in 2012 weren't really a 73-win team, if you make a fair attempt to equalize for the huge number of injuries. If they'd experienced only a normal number of injuries in 2012, instead of the ridiculous number that they suffered, I think the Jays would have been a .500 team at least. So let's call them an 81-win team, based on the talent that they had in 2012.

I think it's also fair to suggest that the Marlins trade, and the signing of Cabrera, could add another 8 to 10 wins to the team. So that already makes them potentially an 88-win or 90-win team in 2013. And then if Dickey adds another 2 or 3 wins, they look like a playoff team at least. So, yes, an "instant contender." And no, it didn't "gut" the entire farm system. There are still a lot of very good prospects still in the system. I don't have to list them all, we know who they are. Plus the top-10 pick that the Jays have in the upcoming draft.
China fan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:00 AM EST (#267000) #
Here's the actual text of John's amazingly prophetic comment from Oct. 2, 2012:

"So how to close that gap? Try to get the best from those bottom feeders to build up the holes. Miami is known to be cheap historically and are talking of slashing payroll again. Their most expensive guys are Jose Reyes (entering age 30 season, 110 OPS+ which is what I'd expect him to be around in the near future) at SS, Mark Buehrle (age 34 next year, signed through 2015, 119 ERA+ lifetime, 107 this year), Josh Johnson (signed for 2013 then free agent, 133 lifetime ERA+, 105 this year). All 3 would fill holes from this year if you feel Escobar won't recover and would prefer to use Hech at 2B or AAA. The pitchers obviously would be nice but Buehrle is expensive ($48 mil for 3 years). Still, I bet Miami would love to clear the 3 out, would take Escobar as part of the trade...."

(I ended the excerpt a little early, to omit the only incorrect part of the comment, where John suggested that Lind might be included in a trade with the Marlins. Otherwise he was dead right.)
Paul D - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:02 AM EST (#267001) #
But the Jays in 2012 weren't really a 73-win team, I disagree pretty strongly with this. We can make a number of assumptions about last year's team, but the only thin we know for sure is that they were a 73 win team.
China fan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:09 AM EST (#267002) #
On the Star website now, Griffin is saying that the Dickey deal could be announced as early as tonight. Griffin says the financial negotiations have been resolved: "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."
Mike Green - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:17 AM EST (#267003) #
In 1978,  39 year old Phil Niekro threw 334 innings with an ERA+ of 142.  He was probably the most valuable pitcher in the NL that year, but finished sixth in the Cy Young voting because he went 19-18.  He pitched well overall the following three years with a big year at age 40 (340 innings with an ERA+ of 119) but falling off quite considerably after that. 
rpriske - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:43 AM EST (#267004) #
I don't understand the naysayers here at all.

Trading for a Cy Young pitcher and getting upset at giving away a prospect? Do you think the Mets should get any less that what they are getting? Do you remember what you demanded when it was Doc going the other way? This is just homerism.

Sure it is hard giving up D'Arnaud but let's be honest... He hS yet to prove anything. I hope and expect he will be good but is also the next in a series of catching prospects we have and how many of the previous one have turned out great? (And Thole is a serious upgrade over Buck in my opinion, and I bet he becomes Dickey's personal backstop)

I for one am really looking forward to watching the
Jays this year.
bpoz - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:45 AM EST (#267005) #
We will have to start adding up the $ for the 2013 & 2014 seasons. They should be $120+mil. So for what ever the reasons are the Jays have a whopping increase in payroll.

The statement We will increase payroll is correct if it goes up even by $.5mil.
All my payroll opinions for 2013 were completely wrong and I am quite happy for it.
If the goal is to win a championship then that is a great goal. To go for it with a loaded team then I cannot think of anything negative. To me Texas seemed to make all the moves it could to make a strong/loaded team even stronger in 2012. I really admire commitment like that. No results are guaranteed.

The Jan caravan will be very interesting. Beeston & AA will have to say something. It does not matter what they say. Beeston's comments to make a big splash & make the playoffs 2 of the next 3 years are completely fulfilled as far as I am concerned. The Jays ARE the talk of Toronto sports and MLB.
Subversive - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:46 AM EST (#267006) #
Rosenthal says 2 years $25 million on twitter. If that's true, count me a fan. AAV $10 million a year for a 3-4 win pitcher is a hell of a bargain.
CeeBee - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:47 AM EST (#267007) #
So according to Ken Rosenthal it's a 2 year/25m extension. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that 1 million less that he was asking from the Mets? Maybe he really thinks this team will be a winner or maybe Alex really is a ninja.
CeeBee - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:49 AM EST (#267008) #
Subversive either types faster than I do or has a faster internet ;) beat me by ....... that much :)
Subversive - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:50 AM EST (#267009) #
Or both! :)
bpoz - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:52 AM EST (#267010) #
Buffalo may have 2 new pitchers Buddy Carlyle & Greg Smith.
CeeBee - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:52 AM EST (#267011) #
Since I'm already flooding the thread... I forgot to add that if this extension is fact I'm a lot happier about the deal though I'd like to know the names of the other two rumoured prospects.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:01 PM EST (#267012) #
Mike, there are likely several people in the Neikro category (both knuckleballers and non) who would have been omitted from my very rapid analysis. Hoyt Wilhelm received MVP votes well into his 40s for instance. But I do find it interesting that the more I look into this, the more I am encouraged about potential health of RAD.

It seems to me like there are two windows of decline for pitchers: The first from about 31-35 which is where the majority of pitchers fall. However the pitchers who do manage to pitch into their late 30s (both knuckler and otherwise) actually appear to maintain a high level until their early-mid 40s.
Beyonder - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:20 PM EST (#267014) #
"This is just homerism."

I actually don't have any huge issues with the trade itself, but apparently a couple of Al GM's do:

"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.
Beyonder - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:21 PM EST (#267015) #
Sorry. "Officials", not GM's.
greenfrog - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:34 PM EST (#267016) #
OK, so where does the team stand right now? The rotation, while not without risk, is obviously great on paper: Dickey / Johnson / Morrow / Buehrle / Romero / Happ. (I still think one more depth arm, an Aaron Laffey type, would be nice, but perhaps last season made me paranoid about SP depth.)

The following positions are solid: LF (Cabrera), RF (Bautista), 3B (Lawrie), SS (Reyes), 2B (Izturis), 1B/DH (Encarnacion).

The bench has a versatile option in Bonifacio, who will probably see a lot of playing time in 2013. Davis is OK against LHP and as a pinch runner. Thole seems to be an OK backup catcher who can at least catch Dickey.

Arencibia is...Arencibia. I don't particularly like him, offensively or defensively, but he is what he is. It is possible that he will have a decent year (he is squarely in his prime).

However, I think there are still a few areas crying out for improvement:

- 1B/DH - upgrade on Lind

- CF - upgrade on Rasmus (if he's a bust - I know this is a divisive issue, but I frankly am pessimistic about him) - this will most likely be Gose in the second half, but what if he's not ready?

- final bench spot - need a decent right-handed bat
eudaimon - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:36 PM EST (#267017) #
As an aside, people keep noting Dickey as a "3-4 win pitcher."

I can't help but think that WAR for pitchers is a bit flawed. Look at the list below and tell me what the major difference between 2012 version of Justin Verlander (who has 6.8 WAR) and R.A. Dickey (who has 4.6 WAR).

I can't help but think that WAR works better for batters than pitchers. Another example: Livan Hernandez in 2008 pitcher 180 innings with a ERA of 6.05. His fangraphs WAR was 1.5. The only thing I can think of is that it calculates based on FIP and not actual results. This is problematic. See: Matt Cain (RAD has also severely bettered his FIP projections since his emergence).

So, I wonder as to the value of WAR in this case. One thing is for sure: we just added a CY Young Winner. If you feel like quantifying that, I think RAD is closer to Verlanders 6.8 than 4.6. But none of that means anything. Let's welcome our new #1 starter (hopefully). At 10 million a year to boot.
eudaimon - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:39 PM EST (#267018) #
Oops, here's the link
Oceanbound - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:39 PM EST (#267019) #
"I can't believe [Anthopoulos is] thinking about doing this," said one AL official Saturday

Mind you, these are supposedly people who had past proposals involving d'Arnaud rebuffed by AA. Clearly the most objective of analysts.
greenfrog - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:43 PM EST (#267020) #
Ben Badler (@BenBadler): "The Mets got a nice return for RA Dickey, but getting a frontline starter for what looks like 3/30 is a solid move for Toronto too."

And: "Even with the trades, Toronto still has Sanchez, Osuna, Stroman, Davis, Alford, Barreto and Tirado. That's how you build a deep farm system."
Spookie Wookie - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:45 PM EST (#267021) #

Yes fWAR is FIP-based and so probably underestimates Dickey's value. bWAR has him higher and may be more accurate.

IMO though he is about a 3-win player (per year over next 3, on avg) due to aging and regression to mean. Can't project him to repeat Cy Young performance each year, also have to account for possibility of injury.
grjas - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 12:57 PM EST (#267022) #
"I also suspect the decision to literally “bet the farm (system)” has more to do with financial goals than team goals....I think this whole change of tactics is motivated by Rogers’ desire to maintain momentum in the attendance and merchandize departments at as low a cost as possible. "

Never ceases to amaze me how many fans assume everything sports ownership does is for some nefarious alternative reason. I have no love of Rogers as an organization, but I don't assume ownership is lying every time their lips move.  May be they do think between an ageing EE and JB, a softening division, and fans that are fed up after 20 years... that it's time to take some risks. And I agree. It's time. Go Jays!

rotorose - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:01 PM EST (#267023) #
Wilner has a good analysis of previous top prospects who did and didn't pan out in his latest column:

One of the points he makes, for all of you who are calling for Rasmus to be replaced, is that Colby was ranked as the #5 prospect in all of baseball in 2008, and #3 in 2009.
Chuck - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:03 PM EST (#267024) #

I forgot to add that if this extension is fact I'm a lot happier about the deal

I imagine that there is no deal absent an extension. Otherwise, the very high price tag is much too high.

92-93 - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:16 PM EST (#267025) #
Some Bauxites must be livid about AA making all these moves to appease the internet kiddies.
Beyonder - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:23 PM EST (#267026) #
grjas. I'm not accusing Rogers of doing anything nefarious, and I generally don't impute motives to corporations (besides the motivation to protect the bottom line). I'm saying that the timing of this all-in move has more to do with capitalizing on the momentum that has already been built in the attendance and TV viewership -- not by any improvement in the team's play that has suddenly made the timing ripe for these sorts of bulk acquisitions. You could have made (and some did) the same claims about a softening division last year.

I am going to love watching this team next year and am on the whole in favour of the trades, but I'm also a little bit wary. Trading prospects on a large scale for established players is a page right out of the Raptors/Leafs handbook.
Dave Till - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:25 PM EST (#267027) #
"I can't believe [Anthopoulos is] thinking about doing this," said one AL official Saturday

AL officials were saying this when AA re-signed Bautista. Which leads me to believe that the typical AL official wears both suspenders and a belt (i.e., he is excessively cautious).
Powder Blues - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 01:57 PM EST (#267028) #
Long time reader - seldom poster.

Count me as a cautious fan of this trade.

It's always tough to trade top prospects. My gut feeling is that d'Arnaud will develope into a top 5-10 catcher, and Syndergard, while a few years away, is likely a #2 - #4 starter for a few years. We will watch their development closely, and in ~5 years, we'll surely lament their success. Jeff Kent comes to mind. Michael Young, another. But...

But ... This trade is about windows. It's about competition. It's about striking when the iron is hot.

We could keep these prospects and they could add a few wins each in '15-'20, and that would be fantastic, but let's be realistic about the current roster.

Bautista is 32.
Reyes is 30 next June.
E3 is 30 in a few weeks.
Buehrle and Janssen are 30+.
Melky may walk before d'Arnaud and Syn make an impact.
JJohnson may walk as soon as 300 days from now.

This team, this roster, is built to win in 2013 and 2014.

If everything works out and we Win, we may be compelled to try to keep it going - re-enforcements may arrive in 2015 and 2016 via free agency or from internal growth (see remaining prospects, in particular of the pitching variety).

On the other hand, if everything goes tits up and we flop a la Marlins, we'll be in a pretty good spot to rebuild:
- Receive a draft pick for letting JJohnson walk in 2013
- Trade our reasonably priced stars for prospects: Bautista, E3, Dickey, Morrow
- Continue drafting kids with high ceilings.

Magpie - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 02:25 PM EST (#267029) #
Jeff Kent comes to mind.

I sure didn't lament Jeff Kent's success. I recognize, that in exchange for the 16 exceptional seasons Kent turned out to have in front of him, all the team got was one month and change of David Cone. It was the right month. In Cone's last 5 starts in September '92, the Jays were shut out once (Cone lost 1-0, Viola took a no-hitter to the ninth), and they scored 3 runs once (Cone beat the Yankees 3-1). And in each of the other three games. the Jays scored exactly 1 run, and Cone won two of those games too.

And then they won 3 of his 4 post-season starts.

Yeah, I'd do that one again.
John Northey - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 02:33 PM EST (#267033) #
Good points Powder Blues - pretty much my thinking on this situation.  Also factor in what it could've cost for an ace this winter...
Greinke: 6 years $147 million ERA past 3 between 3.48 and 4.17, FIP from 2.98 to 3.34, xFIP 2.56 to 3.60
Shields: Top prospects from KC, ERA 2.82 to 5.18, FIP from 3.42 to 4.24, xFIP 3.24 to 3.55
Dickey: Top prospects form here, ERA 2.73 to 3.28, FIP 3.27 to 3.77, xFIP 3.27 to 3.95

xFIP pushes Dickey below the other two on the high end but in their ranges overall, FIP puts Greinke in a slight lead, ERA puts Dickey in the lead.

Basically, 3 #1 pitchers but one is $24.5 mil a year for 6 years, another is a 2 year $21 mil (assuming KC picks up the option), and Dickey is $30 mil for 3 years.  One cost only cash (and tons of it), one cost the #3 prospect in MLB (Myers) & #30, the other cost the #11 & #83 prospect (using's ranking).  I think of the 3 situations the Dodgers was probably ideal (cash, keep all prospects) from a fans viewpoint but the Jays was probably best for an organization POV (3 years rather than 6, $117 million less). 
John Northey - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 02:43 PM EST (#267034) #
Magpie - great point.  I remember in 1992 when I heard of the David Cone deal I cheered and told my dad that the Jays just did what they had to in order to go all the way.  That was exciting and the final piece needed.  I hated losing Kent, but given he played 2B where Alomar was and 3B where Gruber and Sprague (hotshot prospect at the time) were I didn't see any need to keep him.  A shame Ash didn't try to get him back after he wore out his welcome in NY (he actually played well but I remember people thinking he wasn't doing well... NY'ers are weird) .. .now that would've been sweet to get him back right before he took off and Alomar left.

The trick is to get the right pieces at the right times.  Many here seem to 'get it' - this is the window.  This is the time.  It would've been nice if a few elbows held up last year so the staff wasn't so weak, but now our #1 guy going into 2012 is our #5 for 2013.  Our 2B/SS combo has improved significantly.  LF drastically improves.  The backup IF/OF positions also jumped in quality as Davis is back to being a #4 and Vizquel is gone.  The biggest hole now is DH (Lind/Davis platoon probably, although AA is on record as looking for a RH masher) and potentially CF (Rasmus as a mid-80's OPS+ guy isn't that valuable, Gose probably wouldn't hit any better at this point).  CA could be weak depending on ones opinion of JPA/Thole but it is better (offensively) than JPA/Mathis.

Yeah, 2013 should be a year to remember.  Hopefully for the good and not due to tons of collapses / injuries / etc.

Mike Green - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 03:09 PM EST (#267036) #
The Kent/Cone deal was different.  It was a late August deal (with the club up 2 games in the divisional race), and the club really had no place to put Kent.  Kent was nowhere near the prospect that d'Arnaud is, although he was ready to play by the time the Jays dealt him. 

I have no issue with "win now" trades.  It's just that I like d'Arnaud a lot more than JPA right now, and in 1992, I liked Alomar a lot more than Kent.  We will never know though, because I imagine that the Mets (in the rebuilding phase) will keep d'Arnaud at triple A until past the super 2 deadline. 
finch - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 03:22 PM EST (#267037) #
I don't think the prospect coming back will be "minor." I expect it to be someone along the lines of Brandon Nimmo. has him rated at a B-
hypobole - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 03:38 PM EST (#267038) #
I'm guessing the other players are minor - with the amount of leaks this trade has generated, a prospect of Nimmo's stature would have been mentioned by now.
whiterasta80 - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 03:49 PM EST (#267040) #
My read is that the other two prospects are picks from the 2012 draft. Speculate all you want on who they are (no idea, better not be Davis or Stroman), but the names would have leaked by now if they could be named.
Dewey - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 03:55 PM EST (#267041) #
There *is* one small downside to this trade:  I must now perforce go back to Rogers, cap in hand, and ask politely to be re-connected to their damned cable-network/cash-machine. Probably lots of other people will, too.  I know of no way round it; but perhaps some fellow bauxite has FOUND A WAY.  Let us hope so.

Aside from that, I am greatly impressed by AA’s courage.  He has made this team his, from the manager down.  All the blame will be piled on him if it now falls apart; and all the credit should be his as well when it succeeds. 
greenfrog - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:07 PM EST (#267043) #
Re AA: not just courage, but creativity.
Original Ryan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:12 PM EST (#267044) #
My read is that the other two prospects are picks from the 2012 draft. Speculate all you want on who they are (no idea, better not be Davis or Stroman), but the names would have leaked by now if they could be named.

Most players selected in the 2012 draft aren't eligible to be traded yet, even as players to be named later. Unless it changed in the last CBA, there's a six-month time limit on the naming of PTBNLs. Based on where we are on the calendar, that time limit would eliminate anyone who didn't sign almost immediately after the draft.

Davis would technically be a possibility as a player to be named (I'm doubtful, however). Stroman can't be included in this trade as he signed so late.

Richard S.S. - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:28 PM EST (#267045) #
There is a wee bit of informative speculation available which suggest Familia or Mejia might be coming our way.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#267046) #
Go to New York Mets roster and see who's there and when trade official, check again.
codyla - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:36 PM EST (#267047) #
I have no choice but to trust AA on this trade. I remember once upon a time AA was heavily criticized for trading away one of our top prospects in Brett Wallace. I can't really say I'm missing Brett Wallace all that much right, or Michael Taylor for that matter... Or Nestor Molina. Seems like AA has guessed right on quite a few of the prospects he's traded.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:43 PM EST (#267048) #
A.A. says in a Shi Davidi article that he still has enough prospects to make another trade.
grjas - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 04:48 PM EST (#267049) #
" I'm not accusing Rogers of doing anything nefarious,... I'm saying that the timing of this all-in move has more to do with capitalizing on the momentum that has already been built in the attendance and TV viewership -- not by any improvement in the team's play that has suddenly made the timing ripe for these sorts of bulk acquisitions."

Ok Beyonder - got it thx.  Valid point. 

Share your concerns on the risk, but glad to see Rogers finally ponying up...let's hope it works!

Matthew E - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:03 PM EST (#267050) #
There's trivia going on in the "10 Photos - Field of Champions" thread, if anyone wants to play.


The years have rendered me incapable of the kind of optimism necessary to predict that the Jays are going to win anything important. But Rob Neyer, in his column today, said that he could see the Jays finishing as high as a close third in the wild card race. I'm not sure he's close enough to the situation to see the Jays' potential clearly, but then, he comes to a conclusion similar to mine.

Blue in SK - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:04 PM EST (#267051) #
Seems like many are concerned that our prospects cupboard is now barren. I guess technically Drabek, Hutch and Perez are not prospects per se, but the Jays still have them cost controlled for a number of years. Granted they all have serious injuries, but they would seem like adequate replacements for Snydergaard & Nicolino, once fully recovered.
Beyonder - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:05 PM EST (#267052) #
Andy Martino reporting a 12 million team option for Dickey in 2016.
Brian W - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:13 PM EST (#267053) #
Heynman says its Becerra to the Mets and Nickeas to the Jays as the prospects. Mike Nickeas = Canadian catcher, split time between AAA and Majors last year. Likely to play in Buffalo.
Mike D - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:36 PM EST (#267054) #

But Rob Neyer, in his column today, said that he could see the Jays finishing as high as a close third in the wild card race. I'm not sure he's close enough to the situation to see the Jays' potential clearly, but then, he comes to a conclusion similar to mine.

The Jays have not guaranteed themselves a postseason berth, but it's simply absurd to say the Jays' upside falls short of the playoffs with its 2013 roster.  As of right now, the Jays are the World Series favourites in Las Vegas.

However, to be fair, I just read the Neyer column and that's not quite what he says.  Instead, he says that when the offseason is said and done, the consensus projection for the Jays by Opening Day 2013 will be a competitive third in the wild card race.  I doubt that and tend to think that many pundits will have the Jays in the playoffs, but I suppose anything's possible and there are a few months yet for AL teams to make additions.

jerjapan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:40 PM EST (#267055) #
Nickeas is just filler ... crazy to think that with all the catchers we've gone through since September we still don't have a third stringer. 
Brian W - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 05:45 PM EST (#267056) #
That Neyer column is pretty ridiculous. He's basically saying because a lot of things could go wrong for the Jays rotation and a lot of things could go right for the Royals they are essentially the same. Ignoring of course the offensive upgrades for the Jays such as a healthy Bautista, Cabrera, Reyes, etc.
Richard S.S. - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 06:39 PM EST (#267060) #
A very lot would have to go wrong for the Jays NOT to contend. Las Vegas has them at 8-1 and the Favorite to win the World Series. A lot of Baseball writers are not fans of the Jays and are not objective about them. After watching the officiating in 1992 & 1993, MLB didn't want Toronto to win. I don't think that will change.

R.A. Dickey signs two year extention, $25.0MM with option year, $12.0MM - part of extention monies are in the form of a 2012 signing bonus.

Mike Nickeas (C) has MLB experience and will start in Buffalo, being needed there and likely to be an injury call-up. This was a hole A.A. needed to fill.
Thomas - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 07:25 PM EST (#267061) #
Nickeas has some utility, but given that Becerra is the last player Toronto included, I'm not fond of that swap. At least the Dickey extension appears to come at a quite reasonable price.
Magpie - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 08:31 PM EST (#267066) #
It's just that I like d'Arnaud a lot more than JPA right now

Well, yeah. I think everybody likes d'Arnaud a lot more than Arencibia. Including Anthopoulos. Including the Mets. They don't do this deal for Arencibia.
Waveburner - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 08:34 PM EST (#267070) #

Well I have to say that value wise Anthopoulos just got bent over completely by the Mets. d'Arnaud AND Syndergaard and he he still could not get another useful player in the deal? Seriously? And the"mediocre prospect" exchange is an organizational filler for a million dollar toolsy bonus baby who's 17. Far and away the least impressive trade he has pulled to date. I would never make this particular trade in a million years. Nothing against win-now, just against overpaying to this degree to do it.

Also, while the farm system is not literally barren now, it is pretty decimated. I would say it's a 20-25 system in MLB with all the talent coming in 2016 or later.

Still, while I strongly dislike the trade, I am pretty excited about the next three seasons now. I'm also impressed with the sheer guts Anthopoulos continues to display (except for his terrible 2011 offseason). He makes a call on a player and is not afraid to be wrong later. He's definitely not a safe, by-the-book GM. I admire that, even if I don't always agree with his decisions.

That said I think this Dickey trade now makes it doubly important to re-sign Josh Johnson to an extension before the end of next season. The Jays are now 150% committed to the next three seasons of competing for the playoffs. Allowing Johnson to walk for a mere draft pick in 2014 will not help the Jays contend in 2014-2015. They absolutely must re-sign him now or they are shooting themselves in the foot.

My hope now is that the 2013-2015 seasons are so wildly successful and profitable for the Jays that by the time comes around where losing these prospects (d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Marisnick, Nicolino) would normally be starting to hurt the teams performance, the Jays will have the financial muscle, winning track record (and grass field please!) to attract high quality free agents to help offset the loss of the prospects. I fully expect this is Anthopoulos' and Rogers' hope too.  

hypobole - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 09:29 PM EST (#267085) #
I don't remember seeing this mentioned, but Becerra is the kid who was hit in the face by a pitch in a GCL game last year (hence why he only played 11 games) and required reconstructive surgery. Just a guess, but I would imagine he isn't the prospect he was prior to his injury.
Lylemcr - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 09:35 PM EST (#267087) #

I disagree.  The Jays still have many good prospects.  The problem with the Jays is that they never had many top prospects (except D;Arnard), but they had lots of prospects.  I am still very excited about players like Davis, Gose, Sanchez, Osuna, Dean, Lopez...  and many more.  It is going to be interesting to see what happens to Drabek, Hutchinson and McGowan when they come back.

They are not loaded anymore, but they have 3-4 years to fill it up again. 


Seamus - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 10:08 PM EST (#267093) #
Jason Parks of BP tweeted today that the jays still have a top 15 system after the Dickey trade. Pretty impressive.
jerjapan - Monday, December 17 2012 @ 11:04 PM EST (#267104) #
Like the deal or not, a fun read at BP on the difficulty of pleasing a fanbase in the information age.

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