At some point, I’m sure I’ll visit the trade that took place between these two teams when the Mets received Marcus Stroman, but for now, let’s talk about how the Mets got Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey.
This trade should’ve been the type of deal that would’ve been beneficial for both teams involved, while the Blue Jays gave up a ton, they received the reigning Cy Young award winner in Dickey. The Mets also sent over Dickey’s personal catcher, Josh Thole, as well as minor league catcher Mike Nickeas.
Dickey had a decent four years with Toronto, however I’m sure the front office was expecting more from the right handed knuckleballer. He would end up posting an ERA of 4.05, more than a full run higher than his 2.95 ERA in three seasons with the Mets. His 49-52 record with the Jay’s was from spectacular, as well. However, throughout his career, he did end up earning 120 wins while accumulating a WAR of 23.7 in 15 Major League seasons.
In return, the Mets received Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, catcher John Buck, and minor league prospect Wuilmer Becerra.
With d’Arnaud still being a prospect at the time, John Buck was a short term fill-in with a ton of experience behind the dish. Buck would spend part of one season with the Mets, hitting .215/.285/.367/.652 in 101 games in 2013 before being dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Marlon Byrd for second baseman Dilson Herrera and reliever Vic Black.
Obviously d’Arnaud would end up spending a substantial amount of time in Flushing, about seven years. The catcher played in 407 games hitting .242/.303/.401/.704 with 65 doubles, 47 home runs and 164 RBI’s throughout 1494 at-bats. However on May 3rd of this year, Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets brass would decide to release the California native.
While he did show signs and flashes of fans would’ve wanted to see on a more consistent basis, d’Arnaud just wasn’t able to put it together with the Mets. However, the hardworking catcher has since flourished with the Atlanta Braves and could make a pretty penny after the 2021 season if he continues to rake.
Becerra was just 18 years old when he was acquired and was a pretty decent prospect in his own respect. While he hasn’t been in the Mets organization since 2018, when he was playing with the Columbia Fireflies, the team’s high A affiliate. In seven minor league seasons, Becerra slashed .279/.339/.375/.713 with 88 doubles, 22 home runs and 214 RBI’s in 1962 career MiLB at-bats.
Unfortunately, the young outfielder just never made it past Single A and put it together. He last played in the Winter League (VEWL) during the 2019-2020 season.
The last player left to talk or think about would be Noah Syndergaard. The tall right hander has also shown flashes of great baseball, like d’Arnaud, however just hasn’t really been able to put it together. He seems to rely more on his overpowering fastball as opposed possibly finessing the corners of the zone more.
While the Texas born right hander is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery, the good news is that he does have some time to get his shit together. It’s not like he’s far off, he owns a career ERA of 3.31 and a 47-30 record in 716 innings and 118 games pitched.
So with all these moving parts, good players and great prospects, including guys like Dilson Herrera and Vic Black who were involved in a separate trade, only Syndergaard and d’ Arnaud have clicked. John Buck had an already established career and along with Dickey, were at the tail-ends of it.
So in hindsight, I do believe the trade worked more so in the Mets favor as opposed to the Blue Jays. But this goes to show that even some blockbuster trades can potentially be a bust and impact an organization for half a decade.
Photo: Barton Silverman/The New York Times