Blue Jays get their ace, but pay a steep price

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.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

4 thoughts on “Blue Jays get their ace, but pay a steep price

  1. "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…"

    Couldn't we say the EXACT same thing about the Yankees though? A-Rod out half of the year, Jeter and Mariano coming off serious injury, Andy is no sure thing, Youkilis is a huge injury risk, who knows what we're going to get from Ichiro, Gardner missed basically all of last year, and Granderson has been trending in the wrong direction. Plus we're losing Martin and Swisher. I would say the only sure thing in the Yankees lineup right now is Cano. I understand your trepidation especially since the Jays had only 2 (!!) starting regulars at one point in their lineup last year but common, I think they are more of a sure thing than the Yankees right now and I'm a die hard Yankee fan.

    • Well Granderson isn't really trending in the wrong direction as much as having a bad year. Mariano never really gets hurt besides that fluke accident in the outfield. C.C is a workhorse who really didn't have any injury trouble prior to last year. Of course Jeter, Ichiro, A-Rod, and Pettitte are all old and could get hurt but Jeter is usually a workhorse and will be fine by opening day, the only real worry with Ichiro is a little decline, which wasn't shown last year, A-Rod is already injured and basically replaced (albeit by another injury prone guy himself, so be ready Nunez) and Andy is got hurt by a fluke last year too. I see your concern somewhat, but the Jays have a lot more to worry about.

  2. Buck is reportedly going to the Mets in the deal, not that it really affects your point that much.

  3. The Yankees certainly have plenty of injury concerns, like most teams. But I don't think they have as many question marks as the Blue Jays when it comes to injuries/performance. Guys like Bautista, Bonifacio, Morrow and Lawrie had injuries last year. Reyes has a decent history of leg injuries that might be worsened by playing on turf. Josh Johnson's shoulder is not exactly pristine. Is Encarnacion's 2012 repeatable? Or worse, Ricky Romero's 2012? How will their bullpen come together? Will Melky Cabrera have trouble getting his PEDs through customs?

    With a bunch of positive outcomes to these questions, they could push 95+ wins. With enough negatives, they could end up in 4th or 5th again.