Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - R.A. Dickey is on his way to Toronto.
The New York Mets have traded the reigning NL Cy Young winner to the Blue
Jays, with the deal becoming official on Monday after his new team was able to
reach an extension with him.
Along with Dickey, the Mets have traded catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas
to Toronto in exchange for highly touted catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud,
catcher John Buck, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard and minor league
outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
According to Fox Sports, Dickey agreed to a two-year extension worth $25
million with Toronto earlier in the day, keeping him with the club through the
2015 season. The deal also includes a $12 million team option for 2016.
Dickey had a career year in 2012, winning the Cy Young after posting a record
of 20-6 with a 2.73 earned run average and 230 strikeouts over 233 2/3
However, the Mets and the 38-year-old knuckleballer had been unable to come to
terms on a contract extension, which ultimately led to their decision to deal
Dickey is the first pitcher to be traded following a Cy Young award-winning
season since Roger Clemens, who was dealt by the Blue Jays to the New York
Yankees in 1999.
The 23-year-old d'Arnaud gives New York a promising young catcher with some
pop. He hit .333 in 67 games at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2012 with 16 homers
and 52 runs batted in before a knee injury cut his season short in June.
Syndergaard, a 20-year-old right-hander, was 8-5 with a 2.60 ERA at Single-A
Lansing last season with 122 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings.
The 18-year-old Becerra appeared in just 11 games with the rookie-level Gulf
Coast Blue Jays, hitting .250 (8-for-32) with four doubles and four RBI.
The Blue Jays have been among the most active teams this offseason.
They have a new manager in John Gibbons, signed infielder Maicer Izturis and
outfielder Melky Cabrera as free agents and made a blockbuster deal in
November to acquire Buck, utilityman Emilio Bonifacio, pitchers Josh Johnson
and Mark Buehrle and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes from the Miami Marlins.
The moves could make Toronto the favorite in the AL East, despite the usually
free-spending ways of fellow division members Boston and the New York Yankees.
The Jays now have a rotation of Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle, Ricky Romero and
Brandon Morrow, as well as speed at the top of the lineup with Reyes and
Bonifacio to combine with the power of holdover sluggers Jose Bautista and
Thole had been the Mets' primary catcher the past two seasons, but is expected
to serve as a backup to J.P. Arencibia in Toronto. He batted .234 with one
home run and 21 RBI in 2012.
Buck owns nine seasons of major league service with Kansas City, Toronto and
the Marlins, but hit just .192 with 12 homers and 41 RBI last year.
The Sports Network