Mets Trade R.A. Dickey to Blue Jays for Prospects
The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly completed their trade negotiations. As expected, the Mets are sending knuckleballing right-hander R.A Dickey north of the border, accompanied by catcher Josh Thole. In exchange, the Mets are receiving top catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, and veteran catcher John Buck.
The trade was completed on Monday. The Mets also sent veteran reserve catcher Mike Nickeas to Toronto, while the Blue Jays sent young outfielder Wuilmer Becerra to New York.
Here's the scoop on the prospects involved.
Travis D'Arnaud, C: This is the second blockbuster trade of D'Arnaud's career. Originally drafted by the Phillies in the supplemental first round in 2007 from high school in Lakewood, California, D'Arnaud came to Toronto in the 2009 Roy Halladay deal. After a mediocre '10 season, he exploded with a .311/.371/.542 line in Double-A in 2011, then followed up with a .333/.380/.595 mark in Triple-A in 2012.
D'Arnaud is a right-handed hitter, listed at 6-2, 195, bon February 10, 1989. Scouts like his power and anticipate he'll be a significant threat with the bat, plausibly being a 20-homer a year guy. He's hit for average over the last two seasons, although his home parks have been friendly for offense and he's probably not a .300 hitter in the majors. His plate discipline isn't the best and he doesn't draw many walks, but he keeps his strikeout rates under control. His defense is well-regarded, with his mobility, arm strength, and leadership skills all ranked as solid or better.
Although he's not perfect, D'Arnaud has a good balance of offensive and defensive skills. He is either the best or second-best catching prospect in baseball, with Mike Zunino of the Seattle Mariners being his only serious competitor.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP: Syndergaard was drafted by the Blue Jays in the supplemental first round in 2010, from high school in Mansfield, Texas. He established himself as one of the top right-handed pitching prospects in the game this year, posting a 2.60 ERA with a 122/31 K/BB in 104 innings for Lansing in the Low-A Midwest League, allowing just 81 hits.
A 6-5, 200 pound right-hander, Syndergaard was born August 29, 1992. With ideal pitcher size and clean mechanics, he generates 92-97 MPH velocity with his fastball. He also has a very good changeup, and made significant strides refining his curveball this year. Although the breaking ball needs a bit more work, ultimately he should have three plus major league pitches. He has a good feel for pitching and is more refined than the typical power pitcher in his age cohort. He projects as a number two starter if all goes according to plan.
Wuilmer Becerra, OF:The Blue Jays spent $1,300,000 to sign Wuilmer Becerra out of Venezuela in 2011. They brought him directly to North America in 2012, skipping the Latin American summer leagues. Unfortunately, he got into just 11 games in the Gulf Coast League, his season ending early after being hit in the face by a pitch.
Becerra is tall and lanky at 6-4, 190, but runs very well and could be a 20+ steal guy at higher levels if all goes well. He also has above-average power potential, and flashes good plate discipline. However, his swing mechanics are inconsistent and he may be more ripper than hitter. His arm isn't very good, so he profiles best at left field. At Becerra's age, anything can happen. Keep in mind that he wouldn't even be drafted until 2013 if he'd been born in the United States.He was born October 1st, 1994.
With this trade plus the big deal with the Marlins earlier this fall, the Blue Jays are going all-in for a pennant run in 2013 and have traded off most of their top farm assets to do so. The Mets, meanwhile, have cashed in the ultimate reclamation project in Dickey, receiving two elite prospects in return.