I guess I’ll have to reconsider my relatively bearish take on the Blue Jays now, huh? After putting the rest of the league on notice by acquiring pretty much ever good player on the Marlins’ roster other than Giancarlo Stanton, Toronto has continued their push for the crown in 2013 by acquiring R.A. Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Youn winner, from the Mets for a package that will include their best two remaining prospects (according to Baseball America’s prospect rankings). Dickey figures to slot in with Josh Johnson atop Toronto’s suddenly revamped starting rotation, and will likely be enough to get the coveted label of preseason favorites in the East.
First of all, the Mets are basically taking an offer they can’t refuse. Dickey has been great for the past three seasons, but he is 38 years old, and even with the unique aging curve of knuckleballers extending him may not be in the best interests in the Mets, a franchise that’s probably still at least a year or two away from being serious contenders. But in getting Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard from Toronto, the Mets are selling high on Dickey and flipping him for two very high ceiling prospects, including a big league ready catcher who many evaluators project as a future All-Star. The Mets may be taking a risk by trading the immensely popular Dickey, but it will be more than worth it if they’ve acquired a cornerstone player who can also catch, to say nothing of throwing in a young pitcher with the ceiling of a frontline pitcher.
From the Blue Jays’ perspective, however, the move is all about competing now. While d’Arnaud certainly has a higher ceiling than either J.P. Arencibbia or John Buck, Toronto still has some capable big league catchers on the roster, and now they have a much more reliable ace than the notoriously fragile Johnson as well. What’s more, they aren’t obviously deficient at any starting position, and could potentially have five abover average starting pitchers as well. I’m not sure I’m ready to jump on board the presumptive favorites bandwagon, if only because there are a lot of guys who could easily get hurt/under perform on the roster, but the Blue Jays have certainly put themselves in the realm of viable contenders with these offseason moves.