The Blue Jays now have the final ingredient in what could arguably be the best starting rotation in the Majors. The Giants, Phillies, Dodgers and Tigers could all build solid cases in that regard as well. Just the same, the Blue Jays have now acquired National League Cy Young winner R.A Dickey from the New York Mets as part of a seven-player swap that was finalized on Monday evening.
The Blue Jays get a 38-year-old, 20-game winning knuckleballer, his personal catcher Josh Thole and minor-league catcher Mike Nickeas for their number one prospect catcher Travis D'Arnaud, right hander Noah Syndergaard, catcher John Buck and minor-league outfielder Wuilmer Beccera.
Most pitchers Dickey's age would either be in the twilight of their careers and or would already be retired. But Dickey just harnessed the magical butterfly pitch over the past three seasons and broke out big-time with the Mets in 2012.
There are those who would argue the Jays are giving up way too much in this deal and I've got to admit I was taken aback when D'Arnaud's name was included in the deal. However, when you are this close to being a truly elite team, you owe it to yourselves and to the fans to try and go all the way.
Dickey has averaged over 200 innings the last three years, has a record of 39-28 over that span with a 2.95 ERA, eight complete games and four shutouts. He is a legit number 1 starter and gives the Jays incredible veteran depth in a rotation that includes Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero, not to mention J.A. Happ who can be a spot starter out of the pen.
For those who believe the Jays are offering up too much, remember the Roy Halladay deal. The Jays ultimately received Kyle Drabek, D'Arnaud and Michael Taylor, whom the Jays would eventually parlay into Anthony Gose through prospect flips with Oakland and Houston. Drabek is injured and will miss the bulk of the coming season, Gose has yet to establish himself in the Majors, though he could be a good one, and D'Arnaud is coming off knee surgery and has yet to play in the Majors.
Halladay has gone 51-24 in three seasons with the Phillies with a 2.91 ERA, 17 complete games, five shutouts, a perfect game and another no-hitter. I'm not saying Dickey will match that performance, but three seasons at an average of just 17 wins will provide the Jays with more impact than anything the Mets will get out of the deal on the short-term. If you're trying to win a World Series, that's all that really counts.
One of the most interesting cases of a star pitcher being traded is two-time former Jay David Cone. In March of 1987, he was dealt by Kansas City to the New York Mets along with a prospect for catcher Ed Hearn and pitchers Rick Anderson and Mauro "Goose" Gozzo.
In April of 1995, the Blue Jays aquired Cone from the Royals for David Sinnes, Tony Medrano and Chris Stynes. Then on July 28th of that season, the Jays sent Cone to the Yankees for a trio of pitchers that included Jason Jarvis, Mike Gordon and Marty Janzen.
That's nine prospects for Cone and one prospect. The team that got Cone won every deal by a mile and then some.
To be fair, when the Jays originally acquired Cone from the Mets in 1992 for two prospects, one turned out to be Jeff Kent, who one day should be in the Hall of Fame. But the Jays still won that deal in the short-term because they won the World Series. Pat Gillick and Cito Gaston both considered Cone to be the one that put them over the top.
So with the Dickey deal now complete, I give it two thumbs up!
There's all kinds of unusual stuff coming out of Yankee-land. Sensing an opportunity with Alex Rodriguez injured and Eric Chavez gone as a free agent, former Jays third baseman Troy Glaus is talking about trying to make a comeback with the Yankees, who of course just signed Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million pact.
The Yankees are also reportedly willing to take former Jay Vernon Wells off the Angels hands. Of course, the Halos would probably have to pick up a lot of Wells' contract just to get rid of him.
The Boston Red Sox are making a pretty good short-term pick-up in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew on a one-year deal worth $9.5 million.
And the Minnesota Twins signed 6'7 righthander Mike Pelfrey on a one-year deal worth $4 million plus another $1.5 million in incentives. Pelfrey, who was the ninth pick overall in the 2005 draft by the Mets, is coming off 'Tommy John' surgery. Over his time in New York, he had one steller season and went 50-54 overall with an ERA of 4.36. Another highly touted prospect who didn't quite pan out.