When R.A. Dickey takes the hill, it has become expected that the knuckleballer will pitch a gem. Considering Dickey has 10 Wins, a 2.20 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 4.74 K/BB this season, it’s hard to blame fan’s lofty expectations. Even though I wrote last week about the type of extension the Mets could offer Dickey, it’s equally as important to see the scale of return the team could potentially net if he were dangled.
Between 2010 and 2011, Dickey posted an average 2.65 fWAR–which is roughly equivalent $11.15 million per season. To-date, the right-hander’s 2012 has been worth a whopping $9.6 million already. Assuming he continues pitching at this torrid pace, his 2012 season will be worth a staggering $23.63 million (if he makes 32 starts). Considering he will only be paid $4.25 million this year and a mere $5 million next, Dickey has emerged as one of the biggest bargains in baseball. There is no doubt Dickey has tremendous value to the Mets, but one has to think that a sure-fire playoff team would be willing to surrender some very good talent for an “ace” under extremely financially-friendly team-control.
For instance, a team like the Texas Rangers would be crazy not to add R.A. Dickey if he were to become available. With Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Alexi Ogando all on the disabled list, the once depth-filled Rangers rotation is currently looking mighty thin. And even though the Chicago Cubs have been dangling Ryan Dempster–another great prospective addition–certainly Dickey has more value due to his superior 2012 season and incredible 2013 option. Also, Dempster will be a free agent after the season, and surely demand a lengthy, expensive contract.
Similar to how dealing Carlos Beltran netted the Mets stud-prospect Zack Wheeler, one has to wonder if Sandy Alderson could get at least one Wheeler-type for Dickey. For instance, could the Mets get both of Rangers’ top hitting prospects Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt? If Dickey pitches like an ace for the next year-and-a-half, while making a touch over $7 million in the process, perhaps surrendering “untouchables” like Jurickson and Olt are within reason.