If acquired, Syndergaard could easily be considered the best pitching prospect in the system once Zack Wheeler graduates from the Minor Leagues. He has all the stuff to be a front-line starter, although he is still a few years away. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com lists Syndergaard is Toronto’s third best prospect and 83rd overall in the game. Syndergaard is a hard throwing right-handed pitcher who has put up terrific strikeout numbers in the early part of his professional career. He kept the ball in the yard, walked just 2.69 batters per nine innings, and struck out an incredible 10.59 batters per nine innings in 2012. He worked mostly as a starter but made eight relief appearances. He also throws a hard and heavy breaking ball and is developing a change-up as a third pitch.
I’m seeing some Mets fans accusing a few reporters and columnists of bashing R.A. Dickey on the way out the door, smearing his reputation, given reports and comments anonymous sources have made about his personality, motives, etc., off field and in the clubhouse.
I’m an R.A. Dickey fan. So, I’m not going to dig in to the details. If you’re curious, try Google.
All I will say is this: I’m sure he rubbed some people the wrong way, but for no other reason than all people work with people who bug them at times. It’s not new or exclusive to baseball. And there is never a shortage of people willing to bitch about their co-workers. Again, this is hardly exclusive to baseball. At the same time, I’m sure there are also people with the Mets who love R.A. like a brother, who learned from him and are thankful for their time together. The thing is, I really don’t care either way. I don’t see how this has any barring on anything, and I’m certainly not going to let it impact the way I’ll remember Dickey’s time with the Mets or how I feel about him as a baseball player.
The following reports indicate the Blue Jays and Mets are close to a trade that could send R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, however it doesn’t appear a deal will be announced Friday night.
Dickey clearly became the next best available starting pitcher once Anibal Sanchez inked a deal with Detroit yesterday.
The Mets fielded calls on Friday from a variety of teams interested in the NL CY Young Award winner, but by mid-afternoon it seems the list got narrowed down to the Blue Jays, Rangers, Orioles and Angels.
The Orioles couldn’t find a fit, the Rangers say they dropped out, and the Angels aren’t yet a perfect match, leaving an overwhelming number of reports pointing to Toronto.
J.P. Arencibia, as well as prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Anthony Gose, have all been rumored to be involved in a possible deal that could end up involving multiple players from both sides, but no one report or scenario has been confirmed.
4:32 pm: Angels still had interest this morning, but will first shop DH Kendry Morales in an effort to get a pitcher (Matthew Cerrone).
4:30 pm: Blue Jays prefer Jon Niese in a deal for C Travis D’Arnaud, but will move OF Anthony Gose and C J.P. Arencibia in a deal for Dickey, though Mets might need to give up a pitching prospect to get it done (Matthew Cerrone).
In addition, Andy Martino of the Daily News says the Mets have not been engaged in contract discussions with Dickey’s agent since Wednesday – they have been completely focused on trade talks over the last couple of days.
Meanwhile, Bo McGinnis, the agent for R.A. Dickey, told Jim Bowden of ESPN they are not negotiating a contract extension with a new team at the moment, nor is there anything holding up a possible trade.
For previous updates on this story, click here...
Dec. 14, 3:02 pm: Andy Martino of the Daily News reports the Mets were engaged in “intense trade talks” regarding Dickey with the Rangers and Blue Jays yesterday.
In addition, Martino says the Orioles have emerged as a serious player to acquire Dickey.
Dec. 14, 12:01 pm: If the Mets sign Dickey to a two-year, $26 million extension, “It would increase his trade value,” a GM tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney.
That said, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman insists the Mets (and no team) would ever do a sign-and-trade, since it’s ‘bad form.’ In Heyman’s view, if the Mets give Dickey a contract extension, it will be to keep him.
Multiple reports have repeatedly stated the Mets are seeking at least two top prospects in a deal for Dickey.
“All signs point to the Mets trading Dickey,” Rosenthal said this morning, while also pointing out that there has been little progress between the Mets and Dickey on a contract extension.
Brian Erni, MetsBlog.com:
10:38 am: This offseason, we’ve seen some crazy stuff for starting pitching: Wil Myers and other prospects dealt for James Shields and Wade Davis; Joe Blanton (2 years, $14 million) and Jeremy Guthrie (3 years, $25 million); Anibal Sanchez getting five years and $80 million to re-up with the Tigers. That’s why I can’t see a scenario where Dickey’s situation isn’t a win-win for the Mets. Either they cash in a chip for hitters with high ceilings (the Mets desperately need), or they sign Dickey to an extension and get an ace-level pitcher at below-market value.
I’ve talked to some knowledgable people in baseball tonight, and it seems the Mets are in an interesting position here… since it looks like division rivals, the Rangers and Angels, are both still interested in R.A. Dickey.
By the way, I assume this situation is why Sandy Alderson has not been jumping through hoops and rushing to sign Dickey to a contract extension these past few weeks. Of course, if trade talks go no place, I think Alderson will quickly meet Dickey’s demands and get a new contract done. But, even today, still, there is no rush… Alderson has to flesh out this trade market first.
The Rangers have always sounded like the best option for Dickey because they’re most willing to trade young hitters. However, from what I can tell, the Mets aren’t crazy about 1B-3B prospect Mike Olt or speedy center fielder Leonys Martin (the two players Texas is most likely to give up). From what I can gather, the Mets have concerns about Olt’s transition to the outfield (especially in Citi Field).
And this is important: Alderson isn’t going to trade Dickey or Jon Niese just to trade them. The way I understand it, he’d MUCH rather keep his pitching strong (and sign a free agent bat) than risk botching a trade.
As for the Angels, people in Los Angeles keep saying tonight that they’re NOT going to trade Mark Trumbo this off season. They said the same thing about Peter Bourjos a few weeks ago, though, and I now hear from insiders that this is no longer the case. Bourjos can be had. And I’m not buying Trumbo either, frankly. It sounds to me like both, as well as Kendry Morales and pitching prospect Garret Richards, can each be had for the right starting pitcher. I don’t know if the Mets are a perfect fit, but I do know the Angels like Dickey a lot because he’s the best bang for the dollar, he gives them a different look, goes deep in games and can help protect the bullpen.
The Angels also have interest in Niese, by the way.
Speaking of Niese, while Toronto has some interest in Dickey, I’m convinced they prefer Niese (who they also had interest in a year ago).
These three teams and others are still looking for a starting pitcher, especially the Angels.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, it seems the Tigers and Cubs are about to outbid one another for free-agent RHP Anibal Sanchez. If this happens, I think Dickey becomes everyone else’s next best option…
The Angels have signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year deal, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
Dec. 13, 3:55 pm: In regards to the R.A. Dickey Waiting Game Saga, this is the other shoe Sandy Alderson has been waiting to see drop…
I actually think this increases the chance the Mets offer Dickey an extension and look to keep him. I believe Texas was Sandy Alderson’s best chance at getting a team to overpay for Dickey, but only in the event they ended up with Hamilton and younger outfielders to trade. This is less likely now. Of course, the Rangers could still go out and get Nick Swisher, Michael Bourne or trade for Justin Upton, but I’m not sure Alderson wants to wait for Texas again. He, too, has to move to fix his outfield situation and I get the feeling he’s looking to end all of this sooner than later…
Dec. 13, 3:10 pm: As for the Angels, in late November I said they were one of three teams interested in Dickey, though reports suggest they haven’t been in contact with the Mets in some time. Actually, in early November, I wondered if Peter Bourjos could be involved (not the center piece) in a swap for R.A. However, in the last month, more than one person has told me Bourjos is not available, but I find that hard to believe, especially since their outfield is so full. Maybe he wasn’t available earlier in the winter because the Angels had him earmarked for a specific deal?
Similarly, there has been talk lately that Mark Trumbo could be moved (in the event Hamilton was signed), since it seems only natural that they’d look to shop one of these two outfielders for pitching.
Trumbo could qualify as the “difference maker” Alderson said he is seeking in a deal for Dickey. He doesn’t get on-base much, he strikes out a ton, and he’s only a fair outfielder, but he has tremendous power. He would also give the Mets versatility in that he can also play first base on occasion, especially against a tough left-handed pitcher.
As for Bourjos, he has some upside. He doesn’t hit for much power and, like Trumbo, doesn’t get on base very much. But he is an outstanding defensive player and would give a much needed element of speed. However, at this point, Bourjos is fourth outfielder until he proves otherwise..
“I feel like what we’re asking for is less than what it is fair,” Dickey said at the team’s Holiday Party on Tuesday.
However, an AL executive told Mike Puma of the New York Post, ”It’s a pretty fair offer. He’s 38, so how far out there are you going to get? And if I’m going to guarantee him that type of money, I want an option for an additional year.”
According to Puma, because Dickey is not a free agent, Sandy Alderson’s offer to Dickey should be below market value, knowing the two sides can meet in the middle, the executive said.
“Dickey wants this deal so bad, he’ll probably do it,” he concluded.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
Let’s assume trade offers for Dickey continue to fall short, and he’s destine to start Opening Day on the Mets …. in that scenario – as I understand it – Alderson absolutely wants Dickey under contract beyond next year. However, thinking of this in terms of business, leaving emotions out of it, why should Alderson overpay? Dickey isn’t on the open market, so there is no requirement to pay market value. The same was the case with David Wright, by the way. Is that an insult to Dickey? Maybe. But, Dickey is also under no obligation to sign a new contract. If he wants to be paid the market rate, he should put his pen down and test the open market next winter. That’s his right, and if he believes in his ability and demand for services he should absolutely do that…
The thing is, Dickey knows – because teams are still skeptical of his pitch and his age – if he has a weak season in 2013, he’ll again be viewed as a ‘fluke,’ and he’ll be hard pressed to find a long-term deal. He’d essentially be starting from scratch at 39 years old. He wants to ink an extension now, for security, while his value is up and he has momentum, and the Mets believe he’s willing to take a bit less to get a deal done.
Is that fair? Umm, does it matter? Seriously, it’s not about ‘fairness,’ it’s about getting a deal done, which no side is obligated to sign. The team has a goal, Dickey has a goal, eventually the meet in the middle.
Frankly, it’s a typical contract negotiation, which are rarely quick and pretty in New York City. Remember the public relations nightmare that was Derek Jeter and the Yankees? I mean, David Wright actually went public with his disappointment last month, things looked bleak, but now he’s $138 million richer, smiling and praising this team’s future.
These things take time and they’re secretive and they’re almost always awkward at some point in the process, especially if you’re still employed by the people you’re negotiating with, all while dozens of journalists try to report, predict and scrutinize their every moves.
Dickey will either sign a contract he thinks is fair or he won’t. He’s not going to sign something and be mad about it. So, let’s not pretend this is about anything other than money and job security. If a deal is reached, it means both sides met at a place they each viewed as fair, at which point everyone can mop up their tears with dollar bills, get ready for Spring Training and probably never think about this ever again.
That said, the Mets will keep waiting on the trade market before finalizing an offer to Dickey, which I expect to reach a conclusion (one way or the other) by the the end of next week.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
Please, read this, it may help with the waiting…
Sandy Alderson’s top priority this winter is to acquire a young hitter. The easiest way to do this is by trading R.A. Dickey or Jon Niese. The Rangers and other teams are genuinely interested, and have the young hitters to trade, but (for now) they’re exploring other options.
Meanwhile, in case a trade doesn’t happen, or in case Niese is the one that gets traded, the Mets are discussing a contract extension with Dickey because they don’t want him to leave after next season. Dickey wants a deal, but the Mets can’t ink him to one until the trade market has played itself out…
In short, it’s a waiting game. Dickey is waiting on the Mets, who are waiting on the trade market. Dickey thinks he should be paid X, the Mets think he’s worth Y. Teams will give one prospect to get Dickey, the Mets would like two. The Mets will trade Dickey in the right deal, but they’ll sign Dickey if they don’t.
It’s not about ‘dragging feet,’ or disrespect, or spending or not spending money. It’s about exploring ways to make the overall team better, and eventually someone will blink.