Watching R.A. Dickey on the Citi Field mound today it was easy to think back to some of Sandy Alderson’s finest work.
Dickey picked up the win on Thursday afternoon, giving up three runs in five innings. Still, the Mets got the better of the deal that sent him away.
Back in 2012, Alderson traded reigning NL Cy Young winner Dickey to Toronto and the Mets received Noah Syndergaard. At the time, Travis d’Arnaud was the centerpiece that the Mets were getting. The Mets would’ve like pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez, too, but Thor hasn’t been to shabby.
It wasn’t an overwhelmingly popular trade. Jose Reyes won the 2011 NL batting title and then left for the division rival Marlins in free agency without the Mets putting up much of a fight. Turns out the Mets made a smart choice but were accused of being penny pinchers at the time. Even though he entered the 2012 season with a career record of 41-50, Dickey had a great season but instead of signing him, the Mets decided to sell high.
Coming off a 20-win season and a Cy Young, Dickey was frustrated that the Mets couldn’t get a deal done with him when he was asking for $26 million. A team coming off a 74-88 season sent away the player that was one of the few bright spots in the second half of the season.
Dickey was sent to Toronto in a deal that included four catchers: Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole went with Dickey, and d’Arnaud and John Buck came to New York. But it’s Syndergaard that makes the deal look like it’s going to be remembered as one of the best in team history.
The Mets were willing to take a short-term hit as Syndergaard wouldn’t make his debut until 2015. Funny enough, Toronto went for a short-term gain but they could’ve used him in 2015 when they lost to the Royals in the ALCS.
Dickey went 49-52 in four seasons with the Blue Jays. Syndergaard helped the Mets win the 2015 pennant, won game three of the World Series, and made the 2016 All-Star team. Although he missed today’s start, Syndergaard looks like an early contender for the Cy Young.
Thor’s weakness seems to be injuries instead of opposing batters. Terry Collins, who seemingly spends as much time talking about health as baseball, was asked if Syndergaard had talked to a doctor. “I really wasn’t in the mood when the game was over to go to the training room,” Collins said. “I’ve been in that training room enough in the last couple of days. I am sure he was seen by a doctor.”
Dickey got the win today but the Mets won the trade.