By: Marc A. Kaplan

R.A. Dickey Trade Revisited: Grand Larceny for the Mets?

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When the Mets traded 20-game winner R.A. Dickey in late 2012, they were perceived by many as the ‘winners’ of the trade from the onset.

Heading into the 2015 season this 7-player trade has the potential to become more than a win but rather one of the biggest coups in franchise history.

The blockbuster deal sent the 2012 Cy Young Award winner Dickey to Toronto along with young catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. In return the Mets received a package of prospects including Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra, as well as veteran catcher John Buck.

At the time d’Arnaud was touted as the game’s top catching prospect. His talent and potential were without question but there were concerns about his history of injuries. Since cracking the Mets roster in late 2013 the jury is still out on the 26-year-old catcher. A horrific slump saw him demoted to triple-A Las Vegas last June but upon being recalled d’Arnaud slashed .265/7/22 in the final 53 games. Many in league circles believe d’Arnaud is primed for a breakout year in 2015.

When the Mets acquired Noah Syndergaard people were intrigued by the prospects of the 6’6 235 lb. right hander. Not many of those people could have predicted that Syndergaard would be heading into 2015 as Baseball America’s #10 ranked prospect. Syndergaard, also known as “Thor” to his teammates, is on the cusp of breaking into the big leagues where he’ll join a rotation that’s already stacked with young pitching.

In addition to this haul of prospects veteran catcher John Buck also came to queens with plans to have him be a stopgap until d’Arnaud was ready to debut. Buck ended up exceeding expectations and was eventually traded to the Pirates along with fellow 2013 overachiever Marlon Byrd. That deal brought back Vic Black and a player to be named later. Black projects as a mainstay in the Mets’ 2015 bullpen and that PTBNL eventually became Dilson Herrera. Herrera, 20, was called up last August and showed flashes of being a highly capable offensive second baseman.

R.A. Dickey’s 28-26 record and 3.97 ERA since joining the Blue Jays is solid, but a far cry from his award winning 2012 season. Dickey will be entering his age-40 season in 2015. Josh Thole has had a limited impact in Toronto and projects to see even less time with the acquisition of Russell Martin this winter. At this point Mike Nickeas has become an afterthought.

The Mets on the other hand, landed five players that could have an impact on their 2015 season when they expect to compete for a playoff spot. Blockbuster trades haven’t exactly been a bright spot in Mets History, dealing players like Nolan Ryan, Jeff Kent, Scott Kazmir, Heath Bell and Carlos Gomez all before they reached their primes.

The R.A. Dickey trade may well turn into one of the more lopsided trades in recent memory, and for Mets fans it has to feel refreshing to come out on top for once.

About Marc A. Kaplan

Marc A. Kaplan has been writing for DailyStache since joining the staff in early 2015. He is currently a senior broadcasting major at the State University of New York at Oswego. Contact Marc at KarcMaplan@gmail.com.

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