Here is the latest trade details:
Queens Bound: C Travis D'Arnaud, RHSP Noah Syndergaard, C John Buck, low level prospect.
Toronto Bound: RHSP R.A. Dickey, C Josh Thole, mid level prospect.
Analysis from the Mets side:
Travis D'Arnaud instantly fills a huge void in the Mets organization as a big time catching prospect. At 24 years old, he is pretty much ready to jump to the major leagues right now but the team will probably hold him back for a month and change to avoid starting his service time clock towards Super 2 status. D'Arnaud slots out to be an above average offensively that will hit for a modest average well as modest power. Last season in AAA Las Vegas he took part in 67 games and hit .333 with 16 HR's while slugging .595. D'Arnaud also possesses a little bit of speed. Not a burner type that will steal 30+ bases but enough that he won't be a liability on the basepaths and could sneak in 10 steals a season.
Defensively, D'Arnaud is as solid as they come. He has recorded a fielding percentage above .991 the past four seasons and has never recorded more than 6 errors a year in his career. He calls a good game and has a nice comfortable stance which should prevent any major knee issues from developing. It is worth nothing that he did tear his PCL last season although many reports indicate that he has fully recovered from it and he has not had any issues crouching with is.
Noah Syndergaard is a 6' 5" hard throwing right hander who projects to be a #2 starter talent. His fastball sits in the mid 90's and can be cranked up to 99mph when needed (think Matt Harvey). He also carries a curveball, slider, and change-up, all of which project to be plus pitches. His curveball comes in at mid 70's and has a nice hard break. However he still struggles with it's release point and his control needs to improve. His slider is more slurve-y then most would like it to be but this is because he using the pitch to get a better feel of his curve. Once he gets more comfortable with the curve he should be able to get more horizontal plane on it and at least make it a serviceable MLB caliber pitch.
His change-up is his bread and butter pitch. It has excellent vertical drop, wonderful speed differential from his fastball and he throws it with confidence. As with all young pitchers however, he has a small issues with maintaining his arm speed and currently tips his pitch when does it. A little more work with the pitching coach should correct this issue.
John Buck is a part of this deal as a 1 for 1 swap for Josh Thole. The Mets plan to keep D'Arnaud in AAA for a month and change and in the meantime Buck should assume most of the catching responsibilities. The 32 year old catching is beginning to regress defensively due to his age but still threw out 27% of would be base stealers, works well with the pitchers, and still calls a great game. Offensively he is power hitter with a poor eye that should get better and lead to more walks under the Mets offensive focus. In his best season (2010) he hit .281 with 20 HR's, 66 RBIs, and 25 doubles. However as mention his aggressive hitting style leads to a lot of strikeouts something the Mets cannot afford with high strikeout guys Kirk Nieuwenheis and Ike Davis already in the line-up.
Losing R.A. Dickey certainly hurts a lot. He was a class act, an inspiring story and quite frankly the first player since Johan Santana, in his first year with the Mets, that fans would literally come to the ballpark just to see him. However trading him this off-season made sense. His value was high and the Mets have a heavy surplus of starting pitching prospects while a extreme deficit of positional prospects.
I love this trade a lot and believe the Mets got a nice haul from it, however, I am disappointed that Anthony Gose was dropped from the discussions. While Syndergaard is an extremely nice commodity he only adds to a strength that the Mets already had. Gose would have been the perfect fit for this team. Despite contact skills that will probably only translate to a .270 batting average, his elite speed would have forced pitchers to throw more fastballs to David Wright and Ike Davis whenever he would be on base. Ike Davis + fastball= 450 ft monster shots to the Shea Bridge.
All in all though still a nice haul by Sandy Alderson. I give this trade an A- in my book and slot it as his second best transaction as the Mets GM. The Zack Wheeler trade still ranks #1 in my book. If he would've gotten Gose instead of Syndergaard this becomes #1 for me. Sometimes is not about getting BETTER prospects as it is getting GOOD prospects in places you need them.