Reviewing the R.A. Dickey trade a half year later

At the age of 38, R.A. Dickey is 8 and 8 for Toronto.  Through 115.2 innings he has a 4.59 ERA, 42 BBs and 82 Ks and his WHIP sits at 1.288.  Those aren’t BAD stats for a starting pitcher, but I’ll point out the Jeremy Hefner’s stats are better.  Dickey is rounding into form and I think that Toronto will not completely regret the deal they made… though they look like they’ll have plenty to regret.

Travis d’Arnaud: The centerpiece of the Dickey trade (for the Mets) was d’Arnaud.  He was the #6 overall prospect in baseball and he looked to be on the cusp of becoming a great offensive catcher.  Sadly, he injured himself on April 17th and put a major drag on his ascension to the majors.  He’s on the mend now and he’s penciled in to become the starting catcher the moment his rehab stint is over.

Noah Syndergaard: He completed 12 starts for Port St. Lucie where he managed a 3.11 ERA to go along with a 9.0 K/9 and only a 2.3 BB/9.  He easily earned his promotion to AA where he’s been sharp through his first two starts.  Two days ago, listening to WFAN, I heard something interesting.  They quipped that Syndergaard would be worth more in a trade than Zack Wheeler.  This isn’t a knock against Wheeler, but this is truly a nod to how highly touted Syndergaard has become.  The question will be, Do the Mets bank on pitching dominance and hold onto Matt Harvey, Wheeler and Syndergaard?  OR, do they trade Wheeler or Syndergaard to add some needed offense to the lineup?

Wuilmer Becerra: 10 games in the GCL isn’t something to hang one’s hat on but Becerra is certainly an intriguing name.  Currently he’s managed a .324/.366/.378 line and is hitting right around Dominic Smith in the GCL lineup.  The tall Becerra (6’4”) should be capable of progressing through the Met system and could still be an impact player down the line.

The Mets still have gotten no Major League benefit from the deal but right now it looks to be epically in the Mets favor.

15 comments for “Reviewing the R.A. Dickey trade a half year later

  1. July 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I’ve been meaning to check in on Becerra, who certainly could turn into something useful. Psyched to see that he’s gotten off to a good start in the Gulf. Hopefully he’ll wow them in Brooklyn next year.

    It’s been frustrating to watch John Buck since the beginning of May but he’s provided some major league value out of this deal.

    • David Groveman
      July 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      I ignored Buck and Thole and I realize that (just based on length and cost of contract) you could make the argument that Buck alone has been worth Dickey. Obviously, he couldn’t maintain his outstanding start but with Hefner and Gee both having better seasons I am glad we didn’t invest money into a pitcher over 37.

  2. steevy
    July 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    d’Arnaud being so injury prone concerns me.I hope he shakes that off to reach his potential.I think overall it was a good deal for the Mets.

    • David Groveman
      July 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      I agree that there are concerns about health but we should keep sight on the fact that this current injury was more of a freak accident than d’Arnaud’s body breaking down.

    • za
      July 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      I hear this a lot but there seems to be little basis in it. Yes, he has been injured recently but 2012 was a bad slide/takeout and 2013 was a freak foul ball. This isn’t a recurring injury to a specific body part, such as Beltrán’s knees or Reyes’ hammies/oblique. He’s just been unlucky but it doesn’t seem like he’s especially fragile. That said, had he come up in May, the Mets would probably be in a very different position right now.

    • steevy
      July 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Darn,I forgot to add the obligatory…Fire Terry Collins!

      • NormE
        July 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

        Good! I thought you had gone soft.

  3. Metsense
    July 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Boy do I miss RA and the excitement and charisma he brought to the team. I imagine the former and future Cy Young winner as a dynamic 1-2 punch and the Mets catapulting into (as reality sets in) third place. The trade was necessary for this battered franchise that had no star power in the farm system.
    RA with his 0.9 WAR is a better than the throw in Buck at 0.

    • Metsense
      July 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      (sorry inadvertantly posted) Buck at 0.2. but he is 0.7 WAR better than the player he replaced, Thole who is -0.5 WAR. So at the major league level, so far the trade is pretty equal. Mike Nickeas has a .656 OPS in AAA.
      A safe bet would be that d’Arnaud will outperform Thole, and hopefully be a better than average C, which would secure a Met hole. Syndergaard (oh I hope they don’t trade him) is another solid prospect arm that allows the Mets to trade other arms in the system giving them some trade flexibility. Becerra could just be the icing on the cake. 1/2 year later and I am pleased with the trade. 1 1/2 years from now I could be ecstatic with the trade.

  4. DaMetsman in Washington State
    July 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Ultimately, this will go down as perhaps the best trade the Mets ever made. Right off the bat, Buck and Recker (not part of the deal, but able to take the place of Nickeas) have 17 HR and over 50 RBI well before the All-Star break. Thole and Nickeas had five HR and less than 40 RBI for all of 2012. Syndergaard is likely to be the real steal of this deal in spite of d’Arnaud’s presence in a future Mets lineup. In fact, with Francisco Pena, Juan Centeno, Kevin Plawecki and Recker (who delivers a bit more of everything than most expected), d’Arnaud’s mere presence in the system makes the Mets extraordinarily deep in the catching realm, which will certainly lead to more interesting deals to fill holes in the outfield, middle infield and bullpen. Becerra is intriguing and a surprising catch for the well-informed Mets front office. With Hefner and Gee pitching so well, Harvey and Wheeler as mainstays and a hopefully a healthy Niese, Alderson and company are in a powerful position to fill holes. Gee may be excellent trade fodder as the hard-throwing Syndergaard moves into Citi Field in June of next year. And remember, Raphael Montero, Cori Mazzoni and several others are on the radar for 2014 and 2015. Depth is a thing of beauty and very encouraging. The Dickey deal was all about depth.

  5. za
    July 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    We owned them, plain and simple. This is one Alex Anthopolous would love to undo.

  6. Name
    July 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Stuff like this is so hard to review because there is no guarantee that a player will do well/struggle if he didn’t get traded and also the ripple effect that it causes. Does Dickedy continue his mastery if he were still in NY? Would Matt Harvey be the player he is now if Dickey were here? Would Santana not have gotten injured again if Dickey were here? Does Anthony Recker become a top 5 catcher because he is finally given everyday AB’s? All questions that we can never answer. That is why I think that trades should be evaluated at the time of the trade, rather than after-the-fact when too many uncontrollable variables can enter the equation.

  7. July 7, 2013 at 12:20 am

    You can never have enough quality pitchers. People tend to forget that it’s pitching that wins World Series not offense. So the Mets have major deficiencies in the outfield. The only thing they need is a Michael Bourn type center fielder who can cover gap to gap and lead off. Solve that problem and you can platoon the corner outfield positions until someone steps up and takes over full time. Bring in a manager who knows how to put his players in the best possible position to win and not have archaic ideas about the bullpen. Young pitchers that will be under team control while the Mets strive to make the playoffs are what I can see Sandy putting into place.

  8. George Nickerson
    July 8, 2013 at 7:29 am

    D’Arnaud is injury prone with a bad back, they don’t think he can catch everyday. If he can’t catch everyday, as .290 hitter his value is diminished. Becerra has .700 OPS in Gulf Coast, nothing to write home about there. Syndergaard is future #2 starter but Dickey was Cy Young winner also…going to take something.

    I wish the Jays never made the Dickey trade but after Marlins trade they thought they had a shot. It does appear to be a mistake

  9. Jerry Grote
    July 8, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Not added to these equations are dollars. You are paying too much for a C; the Jays have (still) a bargain in Dickey (until he proves conclusively that 2011-12 were the aberration, not a dozen starts in the beginning of this year).

    Wonder about Dickey and his catcher. I know at the start of the year, failures behind the plate contributed compounded RA’s problems. Not too much of a stretch to the true value of Dickey as 2011 … and at that (for the contract he has), you will need contributions from either TDA or Noah. Buck – at his dollar cost – looks like he’ll be a net-negative, but not substantial.

    For now its a draw, but longer term probably its another win for Sandy, because contributions from our side are basically free WARs. Someone with a better handle on that side might have something to add.

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