Analyzing the RA Dickey Trade

Despite waiting till RA Dickey formally signs an extension with Toronto before the deal is finalized. We can safely assume that everything we have heard up to this point is final.

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.


Reese said...

So who IS playing the outfield for the Mets this season? I see four lefties -- Duda, Nieuwenhuis, Baxter and Valdespin, none of whom thrill me and probably none of whom start on a good team.

Mack Ade said...

Matt Harvey on days he doesn't pitch.

I too wish Gose was part of this deal, but it would have been hard to get two MLB ready players.

Reese, the good part is everyone can take a deep breath now and deal with the outfield.

The money on this deal was just about even, meaning there still is somewhere (depending who you believe) between $5-12mil out there to spend and still be under $100mil for the year.

You got the best catcher prospect with a huge bat who overnights becomes the #5 hitter in the lineup.

For now, Turner slots in as the fifth outfielder with Juan Lagares reporting to the Mets camp to compete.

There will me more coming. Nothing huge until prior to 2014 though

Anonymous said...

I disagree completely about Gose and think the mets have done fantastic in this steal if a deal. To add another pitcher like Snydergaard is an awesome development. He slots in behind Wheeler as the 2nd best pitcher in their system.

After you realize what pitchers like Pelfrey are getting in today's market, having another young, good, controllable starter in your system is as good as gold. In 2015 when Syndegaard, Fulmer, and Montero are all ready for the bigs, you now have two young and established commodities in Gee and Niese. The Royals would e given up Myers in a Niese deal so that shows you what kind great situation the Mets will be in once that happens.

Gose isn't ever going to bring more to a team than any of those starting pitchers and since the Mets have basically given up on the 2013 market in terms of paying for quality players, building towards '14 & '15 is the right way to go. I honestly can't see how anyone would prefer Gose to the big righty when you consider where the Mets currently stand in today's power rankings.

Reese, you got to get over the fact that the Mets are not a win now team. You are going to be miserable for the next year if you hold onto a notion that they can compete in their division. Syndegaard makes this system so much better in so many ways.

Soto said...

It's time to dangle Wilmer Flores out there for an outfielder.

Soto said...

Anon, The only reason i say i would prefer Gose is because of our depth.

If Syndergaard was a lefty i would have been content. But now we have 3 impact righties in AAA (Mejia, Wheeler, Familia) maybe 1 righty in AA (Montero), 3 righties in High A (Fulmer, Syndergaard, DeGrom.

See the trend? The team is very heavy on right handed starters right now and although more depth is always good, A CF with speed and excellent defensive skills would have filled a bigger need for the team.

Soto said...

Just did some analysis based on D'Arnaud's 2012 stats in Las Vegas. I extrapolated them out to a full 162 games season then used Jeff Sackmann's Minor League Equivolency Tool to get D'Arnaud's expected 2013 stats.

Here's what I got.

.267/.307/.453 slash line
27 HR's
87 RBI's
40 2B's
3 3B's
34 BB's
154 K's

Not a bad line for a rookie season. Plus 2 steals.

Anonymous said...

I get it...I still disagree. Top shelf pitching trumps decent cf every time. Since the mets can't compete now, stock up on gold and buy or trade for needs later.

Anonymous said...

The price of pitching is insane, just look at the Shields/Dickey trades. Plus, the chances all the mets pitchers develop and reach their ceiling? Not good. Smart move by Sandy to get the pitcher instead of an outfielder that isn't that big of an upgrade over Kirk.

Mack Ade said...

you build a team with pitching...

and you solidify it with talented pitchers under salary controls.

one more thing we seem to never give Sandy credit for is the Niese contract... how much is that worth right now based on what pitching is going for in the open market?

Soto said...

Like I said just my personal opinion.....regardless Sandy even in my book is still an A- trade.

Now trade Flores for someone!!!

Mack Ade said...

and, ya know...

Flores deserves to be playing 3B for a team that wants him to play 3B for them next season...

I think we are all starting to figure out Sandy...

Flores will never play a game in Queens

Anonymous said...

I would be so sure. What we know about Sandy is that he'll trade big leaguers for prospects. Flores is their best minor league bat and cheap. I don't think he's going anywhere until they at least see his numbers in AAA.

Michael S. said...

Hey Mack....do you think the Astros could use a 3B with their rebuild or is Dominguez the answer?

Mack Ade said...


You are right about AAA.

Sandy and Company are going to do everything they can to pump up the slugging percentages of potential trait bait players like Flores.

Las Vegas is going to work out wonderfully...

Mack Ade said...

Michael S:

Great plan... I got a better one... let him play the entire season in Vegas... in that air... I'm thinking 30+ home runs, 80+ RBIs... can't think of a better plan to get a top OF prospect this time next year

(only 3 players on current 25-man over 30...)

Michael S. said...

Sounds good to me...I don't care when they trade him and his value *should* be higher next year. When looking at OF prospects, George Springer stuck out. Power, speed, and great defense and I know the Mets were reportedly heavily interested in drafting him in 2011 until he went two picks earlier to Houston.

Anonymous said...

Mike Nickeaus... Wow sandy did good.

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