Andrew H send in an e-mail asking: “If the Mets trade RA Dickey, do you think the package to his new team will include Josh Thole – so the new team has his catcher and we can finally be rid of him?”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
That’s an interesting point, which I had not thought about. I think Josh Thole gets a bit of a bad rap, considering the overall state of catching in baseball. He’s not that bad, but he’s also certainly not an every-day catcher. He has a good relationship with Dickey and he’s making the league minimum. So, he can easily be replaced.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman said the Mets are seeking both a catcher and an outfielder in talks for Dickey. If that’s the case, it might make sense to replace the incoming catcher they acquire with Thole (who would go to the other team). I can’t imagine it’s a difference maker, but as back-ups go he is fine, plus it would give Dickey’s new team peace of mind knowing they have someone who can catch him.
Later, Ben asked: “If the Mets were to trade R.A for a catching prospect, who are some potential candidates from teams that have young under control catchers they’d give up or prospect catchers who could be really good?”
The guy who sticks out most to is Blue Jays C prospect Travis d’Arnaud. Drafted by the Phillies in the first round in 2007, (37th overall), he was a focal point in the haul the Blue Jays got back from Philadelphia for Roy Halladay. I got a chance to watch d’Arnaud play in person the last two years, and his tools are for real. He boasts gap-to-gap power, which led to a .311/.371/.542 line with 21 homers, 78 RBI and 33 doubles in 114 games last year in the Eastern League with Double A New Hampshire in 2011. After being bumped up to Triple A in 2012, d’Arnaud tore his PCL in June, which forced him to miss the rest of the season. Even with only appearing in 67 games, he hit .333/.380/.595 with 16 homers and 52 RBI. At just 23 years old, I think d’Arnaud has the ability to turn into a dynamic Major League power hitter. However, he does have a few kinks in his game. He racked up 100 strikeouts in 466 plate appearances in 2011 and 59 in 303 plate appearances in 2012: numbers that he needs to cut down if he hopes not to be exploited by Major League pitching. Also, d’Arnaud’s receiving skills are fine, but he has struggled throwing out runners, nailing only 30% last year. Still, d’Arnaud is the real deal and would immediately jump to the top of the Mets position player prospect class.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
If I recall right, d’Arnaud came up in talks last year between the Mets and Blue Jays (in regards to Jon Niese), but Toronto was not interested in making that type of deal. There was actually a point where people connected to the Mets were sounding confident something could be worked out, though I have no idea why it didn’t.