R.A. Dickey Deal Close, But Won’t Happen Tonight

By Matt Musico

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8:13 PM: A deal is still unlikely to happen tonight, but Jon Heyman has tweeted Travis D’Arnaud could be included, despite prior reports throughout the off-season pointing to the Jays holding onto their top catching prospect. Heyman also notes this is unconfirmed, so it could be purely speculation.

7:35 PM: According to multiple sources, a deal for the Mets to trade R.A. Dickey is close to completion, but it won’t be happening tonight.

The Rangers are no longer in the game, and the Orioles didn’t see a fit after inquiring, either. However, MetsBlog reports there is one MLB executive who pursued Dickey who said the Cy Young winner will eventually be headed north of the border.

Rumors said Dickey’s agent refused to negotiate an extension with Toronto, but that’s not true. Jon Morosi has been tweeting consistently about the situation, saying New York and the Jays have made progress, but haven’t agreed on a deal yet. It looks like this will go down over the weekend, with the Jays’ package they’re willing to give up still unclear. However, we can still assume D’Arnaud or Arencibia will be included with an outfielder.

4:30 PM: As always, this is all speculation, but there are multiple sources reporting the trade market for R.A. Dickey has become scorching hot now that Josh Hamilton and Anibal Sanchez have agreed to deals. MetsBlog has done a great job of summarizing all the news and rumors surfacing today, and you can see it here.

Aug. 31, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) looks on during the final out in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Mets won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

To summarize everything that has transpired over the last few hours, it currently stands that Dickey is the best available pitcher left on the market. Ken Rosenthal said this morning that signs are pointing to the reigning NL Cy Young winner will be traded, and it’s snowballed from there. His $5 million salary for next season makes him more attractive to opposing teams, and a rival GM thinks signing him to an extension worth two-years and $26 million would make him more attractive because of the apparent bargain, it’s unlikely the Mets and Sandy Alderson would pull something like that.

Teams have been starting to ramp up their talks with the Mets in an effort to acquire the knuckler now that he’s the best left. MLB Trade Rumors have identified the Orioles, Rangers, and Blue Jays as those most interested in his services, but just as we heard Adam Rubin say Dickey could be dealt today, Jon Heyman tweeted Toronto seems to be in the lead to land the ace, as they have the players the Mets need and want (young catchers and outfielders). It’s rumored the Jays prefer to hold onto catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud, but are willing to give up J.P. Arencibia and outfielders (possibly Anthony Gose), in exchange for Dickey.

This is exactly what Sandy Alderson was hoping for; now that the big market free agents have fallen off the board and James Shields has been dealt to Kansas City, the rest of the teams still looking for a top-tier pitcher could be desperate to make a deal, being more willing to send a more pricey package to Flushing than originally speculated.

I’ve said here multiple times that Toronto seems to be the most likely trade partner for Alderson and the Mets, and it might actually come true. If this does come to pass, this could be the best of both worlds for us Mets fans. Yes, we would lose not only a Cy Young winner, but an incredible person and ambassador for this franchise; however, the organization will get difference makers in return to help the team in the short- and long-term for the positions they need the most help. I will miss watching Dickey pitch every five days, but wherever he winds up (no pun intended), I will be rooting for him to win, because he deserves it.