I think most Met fans are tired of the saga of R.A. Dickey. I know that I am. I fully agree with the reports that once Hamilton signs (hopefully with Texas) the Mets and their potential dance partners will have a better idea of the scope of the dance floor. (Trade Floor) The most likely suitors appear to be the Rangers and Dickey would be in some ways coming home to the team that drafted him 18th overall in the 1996 draft. Once Texas knows the outcome of Josh Hamilton, and their relative need for another pitcher/outfielder, the Mets will be able to bring Dickey’s suitors to point on their respective offers.
Let us say that I’m assuming the Mets include a prospect back in the deals, they ARE going to demand two top prospects from any team they talk to. I’m going to review the top prospects of a few teams who have come up in discussion:
Texas Rangers: The Rangers remain the top suitor for R.A. Dickey and they have repeatedly been rumored willing to part with prospect, Mike Olt, to get the deal done, but the Mets have balked at that offer. I tend to agree that Olt alone is not enough to get a deal done, but at the same time I wonder if the other names that are available in Texas are realistic without offering someone in the Top 5 of Met prospects.
Jurickson Profar, SS: Profar is only 19 and is coming off a successful full season at AA. How successful? .281/.368/.452 with 14 HRs and 16 SBs. That is a lot of success. “But the Mets don’t need a shortstop!” You opine to me. Well… no, Rueben Tejada has earned a pass from me and I will no longer look to replace him. At the same time… Profar looks like a budding Hanley Ramirez and a 20/20 (30/30?) short stop is just something too good not to try for. Let us remember that Profar was off the table for Justin Upton, so don’t get too hopeful. The Mets would likely need to add Wilmer Flores AND someone like Logan Verrett, Tyler Pill or Rafael Montero to the offer to be taken seriously.
Mike Olt, 3B: Olt is a big kid with solid power and hitting. He’s not a slam dunk, at 23 in AA he’s on target for the majors and his bat DOES project into the realm of 30 HR 90 RBI hitter. In 2012 (in AA) he hit .288/.398/.579 and hit 28 HRs. He also played 3 whole games in the outfield. Now… that’s 3 more games than David Wright, but it’s hardly a perfect fit. We could move Wright to the outfield (he has much more speed than Olt) but that doesn’t fit with reality. Mack sums up more reasons why on his blog. The reality is that Olt’s bat is ready and he would be a good fit for hitting behind Ike Davis in 2013 and beyond.
Leonys Martin, CF: Martin is no longer REALLY a prospect but he’s young, team controlled and fits a need the Mets have. At 24, Martin spent half of his year in the AAA PCL (HITTING League) and managed good numbers: .359/.422/.610 hitting 12 home runs and 10 SBs. Martin has speed and a little pop and would profile well as a center fielder and leadoff hitter. Martin and Olt would be a little much for Dickey alone but then again… the Mets wouldn’t be required to part with a Top 5 prospect to sweeten the deal. It would overhaul two OF positions and extend the Met lineup from 1-6 pretty nicely.
Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have quieted down in a hurry, but they are still eager to add a pitcher to their team and put more of a stamp on the relatively open AL East field. The Jays are more interested (supposedly) in Jonathan Niese and are also more eager to move J.P. Arencibia than top prospect Travis D’Arnaud. If and when Texas decides on their direction it will be interesting to see if the names that Toronto tosses out become better too.
Travis D’Arnaud, C: The former first round pick of the Phillies was the key piece of their trade that landed Roy Halladay in Philadelphia. D’Arnaud (Who is from California and not Montreal as I assumed from his name) is going to be 24 and is pretty young (for a catcher) in terms of being major league ready. In 2012 he played for a AAA PCL team and managed: .333/.380/.595 with 16 home runs in only 67 games. He strikes out a bit much but not quite as badly as Matt Den Dekker. If the Mets brought him in Thole immediately defaults to a bench role and D’Arnaud becomes the starter.
Anthony Gose, CF: Another player that Philly traded for Halladay, Gose is a burner. He’s managed over 70 SBs twice in his minor league career and at 22 he’s already looking like a good candidate for leading off and playing center in Flushing. In 2012 he played with D’Arnaud in the AAA PCL and managed: .286/.366/.419 with 34 SBs in 102 games. Gose is good for about one K a game which is hardly an ideal stat but the Mets have no real options at #1 that are particularly attractive so he’d still likely fill that role.
J.P. Arencibia, C: Back in 2010 Arencibia managed .301/.359/.626 in the PCL. Last year in the majors he was a more pedestrian .233/.275/.435 though he did hit 18 HRs. Arencibia has power but he’s hardly a prize pony anymore. The proof of this is in the Blue Jays picking up Buck (though that could have been pure salary dump). I’m not saying he wouldn’t be helpful or that he couldn’t add needed power to the lineup but he cannot be the big prospect of a deal for R.A. Dickey… especially when the Rays got Wil Myers for James Shields.
Boston Red Sox: At the winter meetings there was a report that the Mets demanded Xander Bogaerts AND Jackie Bradley for Dickey. The truth of this is up for debate but for Dickey alone I would think that MOST educated Met fans would know that we asked for too much. Boston would need significant players back to make the deal acceptable and they might not be willing to deal for Dickey at all. If they were… the names on the list of choices would include: Bogaerts, Bradley, Bryce Brentz and Ryan Lavarnway.
Xander Bogaerts, SS: At 6’3” and 175 Lbs a lot of Met fans are going to be worried about bringing in a “SS” but he’s NOT Wilmer Flores. At 20 years of age and in AA people still feel that Bogaerts plays “Good” defense at SS. They say his size could push him to 3rd base but his foot speed opens up the options of a switch to the corner outfield that would be ugly if attempted with Flores. He split time between A+ and AA and in 127 games had an impressive: .307/.373/.523 with 20 HRs to his credit. Like Profar, the Red Sox do not wish to part with Bogaerts for anything so I don’t think the Mets should realistically hope for him, but should the Mets be willing to include someone of the Zack Wheeler/Wilmer Flores echelon then the tune might change.
Jackie Bradley, CF: The second player that the Mets were said to have asked for in a deal for Dickey was Bradley. The center fielder is physically gifted and moving swiftly up through the minors. He’s got some speed and a little power but I think that Gose would beat him on the base paths. The truly great thing (especially in the eyes of Alderson and Co.) is that his eye is advanced for his age. He had 87 walks and 89 strikeouts in 2012 while hitting .315/.430/.482 so unlike Gose and Martin he DEFINITELY fits the leadoff role. It is much more likely that the Mets could manage to include Bradley in a deal than Bogaerts, but it’s not looking like Boston is that interested in making a deal for a second coming of Tim Wakefield.
Bryce Brentz, RF: Instead of Bogaerts the Mets could look at Brentz as a second “Top” prospect. Brentz will be 24 in a few weeks but he’s already conquered AA and in style. In 2012 he managed: .296/.355/.478 in 122 gamesat AA. The combination of Brentz and Bradley would be a nice haul for the Mets and justify the inclusion of a second player (or prospect) into the deal. Unlike Olt/Martin this paring might need 2013 in the minors (at least partially) before they’d be ready to come to Flushing, but they would certainly project well into the future of the team.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers seemed willing to package Dee Gordon and Zach Lee for Dickey but the Mets were not interested in those names. Perhaps the Dodgers will offer something a little more crazy if they become desperate to add Dickey.
Zach Lee, RHP: Lee is a highly regarded prospect who will pitch in 2013 as a 21 year old. He’s gone as far as AA but I’m really not seeing the success for the Mets to be interested. Averaging 4.2 innings a start and a K/9 around 7.5 does not say to me “Ace”. I’m more excited about Michael Fulmer’s numbers and he’s the 5th starting pitcher on my Met radar. (Not including Matt Harvey). He would be headed to AA where he’d be filler in the Met’s stacked minor league pitcher stables. It’s just not something we need.
Yasiel Puig, OF: Puig has only played 23 games in the minors and though his stat line: .354/.442/.634 is impressive and 6’3” body makes power likely, it’s a bit sad for him to rank so highly in a farm system. My biggest concern is that he’s already 22 and he’s not had a full year in the minors. I guess if the Dodgers got desperate they could start offering quantity over quality and the Mets could look to get Gordon and 3-4 prospects for Dickey alone. If they were willing to do that it might not be the WORST idea.
Dee Gordon, SS: After a successful 2011 where he managed .304/.325/.362 in 56 games Gordon popped up from prospect to impact Fantasy player. His 87 games in 2012 were less impressive, but he did steal 32 bases. The Mets still don’t need Gordon for his ability at short stop with Tejada in the fold but they could use him were he converted to CF. The big issue with Gordon is one that Jose Reyes once dealt with. He doesn’t strike out too much… but he doesn’t walk nearly enough. If Gordon got that under control, at least, the Mets would have some speed for the front of their lineup. Frankly I don’t think that the Dodgers have enough pieces left to make Alderson to thrilled even if they gave the Mets 3-4 prospects with Gordon.