I’ll write a longer piece once everyone knows the identity of the “non-elite” prospects, and the amount of money in the Mets-Jays Dickey-d’Arnaud/Syndergaard deal. However, I will say this right now: if a team is going to trade a reigning Cy Young award winner, this is how it’s done. Pull the other team’s best two prospects. In d’Arnaud, the Mets acquired a player who is ready now and a top 10 prospect in baseball. Syndergaard becomes the Mets’ second-best pitching prospect.
Has R.A. Dickey been excellent over the last three years? Yes. Is he a wonderful story? Yes. Have knuckleballers aged well? Yes. Were the Mets a likely playoff team in 2013? No. Are they better off in 2014 and beyond for having done this deal? That’s the idea.
There is no guarantee that d’Arnaud’s minor league success will translate into his becoming a big league all-star. There’s no guarantee that Syndergaard’s promise will make him a rotation regular in 2015. Similarly, Dickey might never have a year, or a half-season as good as his 2012.
This is a risk worth taking for a team that has missed the playoffs for each of the last six seasons.