R.A. Dickey Passes Physical, Trade with Blue Jays Complete

By Matt Musico

5:33 PM: The two nameless prospects now have names; the Mets will also be sending catcher Mike Nickeas to Toronto in addition to Thole and Dickey, while the Jays agree to send d’Arnaud, Buck, Syndergaard, and 18-year-old outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra. The young outfielder signed back in March for $1.3 million, and has the potential to produce some power and speed, while playing either one of the corner outfield positions.

Dickey’s two-year extension includes a $12 million option for the 2016 season.

5:25 PM: The trade has become official as Dickey officially passes his physical, tweets Andy Martino.

Sep 27, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) pitches during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PREWIRE

1:56 PM: The glue holding the trade between the Mets and Blue Jays together was whether or not R.A. Dickey would agree to an extension with Toronto. Before both sides agreed in principle to a deal, rumors pointed towards the Cy Young winner not doing so. However, those rumors were squashed, and the two trade partners continued to move closer to a deal. It was announced yesterday that Toronto would have a 72-hour window to agree to an extension with Dickey, which would expire tomorrow at 2pm EST. MLB Trade Rumors reports they have agreed upon a two-year/$25 million contract for 2014 and 2015, pending a physical.

What was taking Sandy Alderson all winter to do, Alex Anthopoulos did in about a day. Obviously, we realize Alderson had his reasons for taking negotiations as slow as he did, but it’s kind of funny to see how quickly it came together with the Blue Jays and Dickey’s representation. It was rumored the knuckler may have been aiming for more than the $26 million he was asking from the Mets, but he elected job security over a richer contact, which isn’t surprising.

Dickey is already in Florida at the Jays’ spring training facility to undergo his physical before the extension and trade is made official. Buster Olney also tweeted that some of the $25 million he’s due will come in the form of a signing bonus, adding to his $5 million salary for 2013.

Barring with any unforeseen problems (maybe they’ll find out he has no UCL or something…), the deal will be made official and announced sometime later today. So, that means Dickey will head north of the border with his personal catcher, Josh Thole, along with a “non-elite” prospect (I wouldn’t want to be that guy now that they’ve labeled it as such) in exchange for top prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, catcher John Buck, as well as another “non-elite” prospect and some cash to off-set Buck’s $6 million salary for next year.

As fans, it’s tough for us to take emotion out when deals like this happen. All weekend, I’ve been excited about the potential these prospects have, but sad because we’re not only losing a great baseball player, but a great person. We grow attached so easily to players on our favorite teams and it’s tough to watch them go. That connection with players is the reason why we love sports so much, and why it hurts when a player like R.A. Dickey gets traded, or when Jose Reyes leaves via free agency. Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog hits it on the head in his coverage of this news, and I totally agree. Baseball is a business; if I were Sandy Alderson and I was approached with this kind of proposed trade, I would have taken it as well. Although the outfield still needs some fixing and the bullpen could still use some work, the New York Mets will have seemingly gotten better as a whole today.

However, it still sucks to watch a Cy Young pitcher and person leave because of it. Thank goodness he pushed Terry Collins to let him win #20 in front of the home fans.