I feel like the Blue Jays have been at the center of some of the biggest stories this winter in the MLB. First, the huge trade with the Marlins. Now, a trade that is possibly just as important, even if there is a lot less involved. The Blue Jays just quieted critics that said they still didn’t have the pitching staff they needed because they didn’t have that true ace. Well, now they have the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, R.A. Dickey. The Blue Jays traded C Travis d’Arnaud, C John Buck, RHP Noah Syndergaard and OF Wuilmer Becerra for the Mets’ RHP R.A. Dickey, C Josh Thole and C Mike Nickeas.
After the New York Mets decided that they were not going to reach an extension with the 38 year old knuckle baller, they sent out feelers to look for a potential trade partner. It seemed that the Mets were looking to cash in on Dickey for a game changing outfielder or catcher. They earned that in the Blue Jays highest rated prospect, catcher Travis d’Arnaud. He absolutely raked the ball in the minors last season at Triple-A Las Vegas for a .333/.380/.595 batting line. Other players with similar batting lines in the minors the last couple years, OF Starling Marte and C Wilin Rosario. The Mets have a difference maker in d’Arnaud.
The Mets and GM Sandy Alderson may have dealt with R.A. Dickey poorly, but they did get a good haul from the Blue Jays. To go along with Travis d’Arnaud, they also got pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard. He is a 6’5″ power pitcher with a sinking fastball in the mid 90’s and a curveball to work with. Syndergaard still has time to develop in the minors and whether he can develop more pitches and become a top tier starter or if he stays with the two and becomes a closer or relief pitcher remains to be seen. He should be successful either way though.
The Blue Jays have made the second big trade of the off-season to make sure they are in contention in the now much more open AL East. With the reigning NL Cy Young on their team, they have a starting rotation to lead their imposing lineup against the MLB in 2013. Other teams have made these types of high profile moves and been unsuccessful, the Washington Redskins of the 2000’s and the Miami Marlins, where many of these players came from, comes to mind. However, this team feels a bit different. Somehow, it seems like GM Alex Anthapolous knows what he is doing. If the Blue Jays are steam rolling into the playoffs next year, we will know he did.