Mets Make Trade of R.A. Dickey, Acquisition of Travis d’Arnaud Official

By Matt Musico

The major news to come from Flushing yesterday was the official announcement and completion of the trade between the Amazins and the Blue Jays, which included seven players. Although there were a handful of players being swapped, Toronto’s main focus was to acquire R.A. Dickey, and the Mets had their heart set on top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud. Once Dickey landed in Florida and passed his physical after agreeing to a two-year extension, more details came out about the trade, and the 2012 NL Cy Young winner broke his silence to thank fans via social media.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York gives a good recap of the conference calls from Sandy Alderson and Alex Anthopoulos regarding the trade. Both general managers offered some insight, as Anthopoulos said he first inquired about Dickey about a week before the Winter Meetings, but once they discussed it in Nashville, he thought the deal was dead. although d’Arnaud’s name didn’t surface in reports until this past weekend, he was the focal point of discussions between the two sides for almost two weeks. Once they officially agreed upon players last Thursday afternoon, Anthopoulos and manager John Gibbons went back to Nashville to negotiate with Dickey and Bo McKinnis, which took about a day for them to hammer out details. Also, why were both Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas included in this deal? Anthopoulos didn’t want to have an audition of catchers in Spring Training to see who could catch Dickey, so he wanted to bring Thole along, as well as Nickeas in case Thole gets injured.

August 22, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson speaks about pitcher Johan Santana (not pictured) during a press conference before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Also, Alderson didn’t accept this deal until Noah Syndergaard was included. It was rumored the Jays may be kicking in some extra cash to off-set John Buck‘s $6 million salary for 2013, but the Jays have reached their financial ceiling for next season, so that ended up not happening. Alderson has spoken to d’Arnaud and said he would be given the chance to compete for a job on the Big League roster in Spring Training; since he missed most of last season with his knee injury, there is a good chance he won’t be in in the Majors on Opening Day, but it shouldn’t be too long until he’ll be making an impact in Flushing.

What’s more important for Mets fans to hear is that Alderson said they won’t be punting 2013, and they’re still looking to make some moves to improve the roster, including making another trade for an outfielder or sign one through free agency (which I’ll talk about later today), as well as bringing in another pitcher capable of starting to fill the void Dickey has left in the rotation. Jenrry Mejia will get a chance to make the rotation in Port St. Lucie, but if he doesn’t perform, it will be nice to have a proven commodity ready to contribute. Francisco Liriano‘s name has been thrown around, as re-uniting him with former Twins teammate Johan Santana could do him some good.

Once news broke that the trade was made official, R.A. broke his silence about it via twitter, thanking the fans:

"“Now that its official, I want to say that I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support and encouragement I received from all of you. I’ve always felt that there was a connection beyond the uniform. Thank you for making me feel wanted. Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays.”"

There was also plenty of media reaction to the trade, most being impressed with the return Sandy Alderson received for Dickey, and shock that the Jays were willing to deal d’Arnaud. There was also plenty of coverage here at Rising Apple yesterday: I summarized the final details of the trade, Mike Lecolant offered his opinion, while Danny Abriano said that even though it was tough to watch R.A. go, this was the right move for the Mets moving forward.