The R.A. Dickey for Noah Syndergaard trade between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays helped both teams. We’re rewriting some Mets history and taking a look at what could have happened if the deal never happened.
One of the biggest trades of the last decade made by the New York Mets sent reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays. In return, the Mets managed to pick up one of the key members of their core for the last half-decade, Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard hasn’t reached what many believe to be his full potential. Still an incredibly gifted athlete, he is an important part of this team’s success.
At the time of the trade, the Mets didn’t look like they were going anywhere. There was hope for a more promising future. Already past his age 37 season, Dickey wasn’t going to be a part of it.
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The Mets wisely dealt Dickey at the height of his career even if it meant losing a major part of the rotation. They were giving up a little in the present for a more promising future ahead. We like rewriting history at Rising Apple. In this story, the Mets never do this deal. Then what happens?
First, there’s no Thor in Flushing. This drastically changes the outcome of the 2015 postseason. In 2016, we would have seen a different man on the mound to start the Wild Card game versus Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.
Unless the starter was Cy Young himself, I don’t think it would have helped them much.
By continuing even for one more year with Dickey, the Mets would have missed out on a lot. Dickey was set to become a free agent after 2013, agreeing to a two-year extension with Toronto at the time of the trade. I’m not so sure this would have worked out as well for the Amazins.
However, it’s not impossible to believe the Mets would have kept Dickey around. After the 2013 season, they did sign Bartolo Colon. He was already 40-years-old. Although his deal was worth a few fistfuls less, the difference wasn’t a major one.
It seems the Mets were bound to have a veteran on the roster from 2014-2016 in some form. It’s hard to know exactly how well Dickey would have pitched in those years compared to the performance Colon gave them. Ironically enough, this pair ended up as teammates with the 2017 Atlanta Braves.
Aside from missing out on some iconic Colon moments, New York would have a major rotation hole at the moment. Perhaps this could have led them to re-sign Zack Wheeler. The way many look at it, Brodie Van Wagenen has chosen to proceed with Syndergaard over Wheeler. I don’t think it’s such a ridiculous theory.
Enough years have gone by since this deal to only understand a small part of what the franchise would look like today. Because the trade also included catcher Travis d’Arnaud, there’s yet another element to explore.
What direction would they have gone here? They may have found another way to acquire a young catcher via trade. We could have also seen them go with a veteran.
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In many ways, this was the perfect trade for both the Mets and Blue Jays. New York reloaded for the future and Toronto made themselves better in the short-term. Neither team has won a championship because of the deal yet, but both experienced multiple postseason trips in part to this blockbuster swap.