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Saturday, December 01, 2012

Schoenfield: Why the Mets should trade R.A. Dickey

Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron writes that the Mets aren’t that far away:

  So, I say good for the Mets on not giving up on their short-term future. They just aren’t anywhere close to being bad enough to justify punting the next few years while they wait for the farm system to develop new stars to build around. They already have stars to build around. They can win with the ones they have now.

I agree with Dave’s premise that teams shouldn’t always be so willing to punt on a season. But I think the Mets are just in the wrong division; and if they can’t sign Dickey now, there’s no guarantee they sign him next offseason. Their best move would be to shop him around and acquire a young hitter to add alongside their old third baseman. You can still build a rotation around Harvey, Wheeler and Niese, but you need to build up the offense around Wright. If they can sign Dickey to a long-term deal, I’m in favor of that—knuckleballers are good risks even in their early 40s—but I don’t believe this ownership is going to give out two megacontracts in one winter.

As bad as the public relations hit would be in trading away the reigning Cy Young winner, maybe Mets fans—at least the older ones—can remember back in 1989, when the Mets acquired the reigning AL Cy Young winner, Frank Viola. While he had some nice years with the Mets, the Twins did acquire Kevin Tapani and Rick Aguilera in the deal. Two years later, the Twins were World Series champs.

Thanks to JB.

Repoz Posted: December 01, 2012 at 09:56 AM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. PreservedFish Posted: December 01, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4313982)
Screw that. Dickey is the most entertaining player in baseball. Do not trade him.
   2. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 01, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4313989)
Trade him for what? Call me crazy, but my opinion would depend on the identity of the player or players coming back.
   3. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 01, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4313991)
Schoenfeld's not saying this, but I hate when people dump on the Viola trade. The Mets gave up a whole lot (personally, I was sad to part with David West), but it wasn't Viola's fault that Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez forgot how to play baseball simultaneously in 1989 and the Mets ran into a brick wall called Barry Bonds in their efforts to win the east from 90 on.
   4. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 01, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4314023)
but it wasn't Viola's fault that Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez forgot how to play baseball simultaneously in 1989

Carter started to look older in 1986, and really looked bad in 87 and 88, which isn't surprising for an catcher. The Mets were pretty foolish to expect a 35 year old catcher to bounce back in 89. If Sasser could have remembered how to throw a ball back to the pitcher, it would have been less bad.

Hernandez really did fall off the cliff in 89.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: December 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4314059)
Schoenfeld's not saying this, but I hate when people dump on the Viola trade.


This is pretty much a pattern with Mets fans. They dump on any trade that didn't result in- I don't know- maybe a championship without looking at the player's actual contributions. Viola's tenure with the Mets is right in line with the rest of his career- a 110 ERA+ with the Mets after a 111 ERA+ with the Twins amid a 112 ERA+ for his career. His unadjusted ERA is actually better with the Mets (3.31) than with the Twins or the Red Sox (3.86 and 3.40 respectively). He had a great season with New York in 1990 (20-12 with a 141 ERA+ while leading the league in IP). He had a down year in '91, the Mets let him go in free agency and then he bounced back for several more good years with Boston. The '91 Mets weren't going to win the World Series with Aguilera and Tapani any more than with Viola (they finished 5th in the NL East that year). It was a fine trade that wasn't enough to overcome the team's other deficiencies.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 01, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4314106)
They just aren’t anywhere close to being bad enough to justify punting the next few years . . .

Not to be a killjoy, but the Mets were 24 games out of 1st last season. Too much focus on that second Wildcard?
   7. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: December 01, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4314107)
Is Dickey a "true knuckleballer"? I thought he mixed more FB's and other offspeed pitches in with the knuckler (which would make him not so much of a good risk into his 40's).
   8. Swedish Chef Posted: December 01, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4314118)
I don't see the point in trading awesome players.

Not to be a killjoy, but the Mets were 24 games out of 1st last season. Too much focus on that second Wildcard?

Things can change fast in baseball, no team should ever plan for extended suckage. Especially not one with resources.
   9. billyshears Posted: December 01, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4314121)
The problem is that the Mets can be a contender only if a significant majority of their major players hit their 80th percentile projection, but none of them hit their 20th percentile projection. That's not so crazy as to be beyond the realm of possibility, but it's very unlikely. So I understand the articles that argue the Mets are not all that far away, but I think chasing a highly unlikely outcome is a fool's errand.

Jim Bowden (warning: source) thinks the Mets will trade Dickey to the Royals or Angels for 2 mid-level prospects. I'm not terribly jazzed about that. I think the Mets should trade Dickey, but they have to go big or go home. If the market doesn't yield anything big enough, then re-sign him.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: December 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4314125)
Jim Bowden (warning: source) thinks the Mets will trade Dickey to the Royals or Angels for 2 mid-level prospects.
Putting aside that this would be a bad baseball move, I hope that the Mets' preoccupation with avoiding negative headlines is working in our favor here. That would be a public relations disaster.
   11. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 01, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4314155)
Screw that. Dickey is the most entertaining player in baseball. Do not trade him.
Damn right.

Trading Dickey for 2 mid-level prospects would be an insanely stupid move. I therefore expect it to happen within the week. (Aside: has a player other than Viola been traded after winning the Cy Young, and what was gotten for him?)

Viola gets dumped on in part because he was supposed to be the final piece of the puzzle that would let the Mets breeze through the postseason undefeated on a wave of shutouts. It's ridiculous that people dog athletes for not being as good they hoped. Did people think Viola was floating the ball to the plate because he was distracted, thinking about what yacht polish to buy?

Met fans (and brass) throught they were getting the Sweet Music of his age 27-28 seasons, the guy who won 41 games with ERA+s in the 150s and with a Cy Young award to show for it. He was an average starter after he came over, then had a very strong year, was around average again, and the Mets no longer loved their shiny new toy and let him walk from The Worst Team Money Can Buy. Mets fans hated, hated, hated that team, especially coming as it did on the heels of the Hernandez-Carter Mets, and some of the players caught unwarranted flack for simply being on that club. Remember Vince Coleman's anger at the Mets keeping him out of the Hall of Fame by reducing his steals, the firecrackers thrown at fans, the bleach in the bullpen, David Cone letting it all hang out...?

I don't remember salaries--was the 3/13 Viola got from the Red Sox in '92 a premium deal back then?
   12. akrasian Posted: December 01, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4314158)
I don't remember salaries--was the 3/13 he got from the Red Sox in '92 a premium deal back then?

Baseball Reference has him third in AL salary in 1992, so I'd say yes.

Looking further, he would have been third in NL salary also, so fifth overall in MLB. Not bad for a disappointment like him.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: December 01, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4314180)

Aside: has a player other than Viola been traded after winning the Cy Young, and what was gotten for him?


Hell, the Indians did it twice in two years. As for part 2 of your question: nothing that amounted to a whole lot.
   14. depletion Posted: December 01, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4314294)
Did people think Viola was floating the ball to the plate because he was distracted, thinking about what yacht polish to buy?

Nice.
   15. Benji Posted: December 01, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4314313)
Nobody minds a big trade for a superstar (or even a very functional player like Donn Clendenon) but when you deplete your young talent for someone you don't need it's destructive. The Mets are one of the all-time practitioners of this:
Otis and Johnson for Foy
Mitchell et al for McReynolds
Half a pitching staff for Viola
5 players for Alomar
All of those deals were unnecessary "lily-gilding" moves. The position players replaced productive platoons or in Alomar's case, forced Alfonzo to move from 2B to 3B hurting the team at two spots. The Viola deal was a reaction to the Expos trading for Langston, which caused hysteria in the tabloids. And none of them worked.

History is never in the Mets' favor in trades. That's why it's so silly to read "if they trade ----- for "prospects" they'll win everything in 2 years". Still waiting for the championships they won with Doug Flynn, Dan Norman and Ryan Thompson.
   16. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 01, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4314326)
(Aside: has a player other than Viola been traded after winning the Cy Young, and what was gotten for him?)

Pedro, for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: December 02, 2012 at 12:20 AM (#4314364)
And Clemens, after two straight with Toronto, yielding David Wells, Homer Bush and Graeme Lloyd.
   18. The District Attorney Posted: December 02, 2012 at 12:24 AM (#4314366)
Let me rephrase the question: Has any Cy Young winner not been traded immediately after winning it?
   19. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 02, 2012 at 04:36 AM (#4314445)
@18--nice!

Yeah, I did mean that as rhetorical, and to suggest that teams who trade Cy winners hardly get guaranteed returns.

@15--Bill James really called the McReynolds trade against the Mets. A very solid player, but not nearly as good as the team thought ("a franchise player", they said, iirc), and the kind of guy who was likely to decline very quickly once he reached 30.
   20. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4314455)
I think the Mets should trade Dickey, but they have to go big or go home. If the market doesn't yield anything big enough, then re-sign him.

I agree.
   21. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4314458)
I think the Mets should trade Dickey, but they have to go big or go home. If the market doesn't yield anything big enough, then re-sign him.

I was about to agree, as AJM, but the "big" part carries a lot of subjective weight here.
   22. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4314461)
I'd be more specific - if they can't get a blue chip outfield or catching prospect, they should be very circumspect about whether they're upgrading the team by trading Dickey.
   23. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4314470)
I'd agree with the (strong) blue chip player part, but not not the prospect. I don't see the gamble on the loss of definite awesome and very likely high value being worth someone who is possibly going to turn into no one.
   24. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4314471)
I was about to agree, as AJM, but the "big" part carries a lot of subjective weight here.
He means a top OF like a Jason Bay.
   25. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4314477)
Let me rephrase the question: Has any Cy Young winner not been traded immediately after winning it?


Greg Maddux. He just signed elsewhere when the Cubs lowballed him.
   26. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 02, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4314485)
joe bivens / 7: yes, he is. besides, they almost all mix in other pitches for effect.
   27. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4314515)
@26: true, but the harder knuckler (avg speed is around 77 mph) and the lack of a UCL are worrisome.

So, everyone knows about the hs girl who was taught the knuckleball by Joe Niekro when he was her little league coach, and she's now an all-star? Great story.

edit: I just noticed this in Schoenfeld's article.

"Trouble is, with Wright now signed and the Mets operating like a midmarket franchise with an estimated $80 million budget, they may not be able to afford Dickey."

80m? Really? Has it gotten that bad?
   28. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4314519)
i'd agree to that, jack - with the caveat that we don't know as much about fast knuckler as we do slow ones, wrt longevity - as opposed to knowing that those dudes will have less staying power. (though i imagine that they would - not that that should be an issue during the life of this contract)
   29. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4314524)
as for chelsea baker - she'll try out for her hs team this spring (she's a soph); obviously, that would be great if she can continue to succeed.
   30. billyshears Posted: December 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4314578)
I'd be more specific - if they can't get a blue chip outfield or catching prospect, they should be very circumspect about whether they're upgrading the team by trading Dickey.


Yeah, this is basically what I mean. I get that a "big" prospect is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm thinking along the lines of the Beltran deal, where the Mets held out for one very good prospect, instead of settling for 1 B prospect, 1 C prospect and 1 non-prospect. Do the Reds want pitchers? They don't seem to have much use for Mesoraco?

In any case, there is no conceivable reality where this will happen, but in another universe, shouldn't the Mets be in on Josh Hamilton? Realistically, the Mets only have a chance of competing if they can make massive upgrades. The OF is a vortex of suck, so replacing the giant sucking sound with Josh Hamilton would make an enormous difference. Because Hamilton has a different risk profile from most players, he is likely to get a shorter contract with a high AAV. Those contracts often make more sense in any case, but that might create a nice organizational balance with Wright's deal, which was longer with a lower AAV. If the Mets backload the deal a bit, they can reduce the hit in 2013, and the Mets have so few commitments in 2014, they could make the deal work even in a reduced budget. Also, signing Hamilton could really sell tickets, both through increased fan enthusiasm early in the season and more meaningful games late in the season. Again, I get that it will never happen, but I'm not sure it's the wrong idea, even in this universe.
   31. The District Attorney Posted: December 02, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4314604)
I wonder if Travis d'Arnaud could be pried from the Blue Jays. If Dickey were under a longer contract and were younger, it'd be a perfect fit. As it is, it'd probably be a stretch. But, the Jays do have two other plausible catchers, and they are going for it. We could throw in more stuff, of course.

I actually wouldn't have a problem with Hamilton on a short-term contract. As you say, it'd only be money, he'd be filling a huge hole, and as long as he didn't #### up, I do think he'd be very popular and bring excitement. But it won't happen, and I suspect he gets a long-term deal anyway, just because the free agent class is so weak.
   32. formerly dp Posted: December 02, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4314672)
I wonder if Travis d'Arnaud could be pried from the Blue Jays. If Dickey were under a longer contract and were younger, it'd be a perfect fit. As it is, it'd probably be a stretch. But, the Jays do have two other plausible catchers, and they are going for it.
I like your description of John Buck as a "plausible catcher"...Anthropolus just made his bag deal without surrendering his top prospect, so I doubt he moves him to acquire Dickey. I have thought for a while that Arencibia would be a good fit for the Mets, but I have no idea what it would take to get him, and there are players who would probably provide similar value on the FA market. I read that the Mets could be interested in snagging Flores, now that the Nats non-tendered him.
   33. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4314681)
I read that the Mets could be interested in snagging Flores, now that the Nats non-tendered him.

What are Jeff Keppinger, Lasting Milledge, and Henry Owens doing?
   34. billyshears Posted: December 02, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4314696)
I have thought for a while that Arencibia would be a good fit for the Mets, but I have no idea what it would take to get him, and there are players who would probably provide similar value on the FA market.


I've liked Arencibia, but he has posted an OBP comfortably below .300 in each of the last 2 years. I don't think you give up anything of significant value to get him.
   35. formerly dp Posted: December 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4314697)
What are Jeff Keppinger, Lasting Milledge, and Henry Owens doing?
Keppinger has actually had a pretty nice career.
   36. JJ1986 Posted: December 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4314707)
Milledge is in Japan.
   37. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 02, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4314712)
Owens appears to be out of baseball - I know he had at least one PED suspension...

Matt Lindstrom, on the other hand, would have been useful to have around from time to time.
   38. formerly dp Posted: December 02, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4314717)
I've liked Arencibia, but he has posted an OBP comfortably below .300 in each of the last 2 years. I don't think you give up anything of significant value to get him.
I don't know how great a glove he has, but 1) power out of the catcher spot from a player making near the league minimum isn't bad, and 2) he could still take a small step forward as a hitter. That said, Citi's probably not the best place for him to do it.

Rosenthal hints at past talks involving Niese. If the Jays think they can get that sort of player for Arencibia, more power to them. But Alderson doesn't make that deal.
   39. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4314768)
Keppinger has actually had a pretty nice career.

It wasn't meant as a serious comment at all. Just three Met prospects from the Mets recent past. I don't think it'd be a great idea to bench Thole. He was awful last year but he entered the season with a .350 OBP. He's not going to be an allstar but I still think he has a shot of being a good starter.
   40. The District Attorney Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4314769)
Yeah, Arencibia to me has an insufficiently low ceiling to justify giving up a star for him. I'm just as happy with our OBP/no-power catcher as I would be with a power/no-OBP catcher.

Hearkening back to what I mentioned earlier, even if it makes sense to folks like us that d'Arnaud is worth more than Dickey, the general public wouldn't see it that way. I don't think WFAN callers would be thrilled that the Mets traded the Cy Young winner for a minor leaguer, never mind if the Mets threw in more besides. There would also be a ton of pressure on d'Arnaud going forward.

So, this probably doesn't work. I dunno who else is looking to trade quality young catchers, though.
   41. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4314770)
Would you guys do a Dickey for Derek Holland trade? Would the Rangers?
   42. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4314780)
I'm not looking to flip Dickey for a pitcher if I'm the Mets. Maybe if they're planning to trade Niese for a significant piece, Holland fills that hole.
   43. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4314790)
Holland's signed for 4 years/27 million with two option years that are pretty reasonable if he's still a solid starter. He's a lefthander with an average fastball velocity of 93.0 mph last year. He's put up a 105 ERA+ the last three seasons and he'd be a very good fit a Citifield.

I could envision a rotation of the Harvey/Niese/Wheeler/Holland getting to the Mets into the playoffs as soon as 2014. Use the money you save on Dickey to get a hitter or two.
   44. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4315630)
Apparently, the Mets are "getting serious" about trading Dickey, with the Rangers and Royals seen as the most likely destinations. Who do you think the Mets would likely target? As I said, I personally would be happy with Holland but don't know much about either team's minor league system.
   45. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4315718)
I could envision a rotation of the Harvey/Niese/Wheeler/Holland getting to the Mets into the playoffs as soon as 2014. Use the money you save on Dickey to get a hitter or two.
What are you going to do about a lineup, though?
   46. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4315775)
What are you going to do about a lineup, though?

I think Ike Davis is a good hitter and Wright has been re-signed. Murphy and Tejada are averagish for their positions, and I think 2013 will tell us whether or not Thole can be relied on as such as well. The Mets are freeing up a lot of money with the expiring contracts of Santana and Bay and only have Wright and Niese under contact for 2014. Even if they don't increase payroll, the Mets will have money to spend to add a hitter or two.

By the beginning of the 2014 seasons, Alderson et al will have been in charge for 3.5 years. They need to add some talent to the roster because Minaya can only be blamed for so long.
   47. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4315795)
That's a small window if payroll is dropping to 80m. It's the only year where a lot of the young guys are in their first or second arb years. Santana gets 5m in 2014. Does Beltran? For some reason Cot's omits Carlos, but has Bay getting 3m in 2014.

   48. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4315818)
With the Red Sox having 49 catchers, I wonder if the Mets can get Lavarnway from them.
   49. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4315827)
I would just re-sign Shoppach and call it a day.
   50. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 03, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4315830)
That's a small window if payroll is dropping to 80m.


Towards season end, Alderson said 100MM. We'll see.
   51. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4315835)
That's a small window if payroll is dropping to 80m. It's the only year where a lot of the young guys are in their first or second arb years. Santana gets 5m in 2014. Does Beltran? For some reason Cot's omits Carlos, but has Bay getting 3m in 2014.

Those are the buyouts for Santana and Bay's options. Carlos didn't have an option and the Mets traded him anyway. I don't think the Mets are going to drop all the way down to the 80 million dollar payroll range. The Mets were at 90 million this year and didn't they have to pay back the 25 million they borrowed from MLB? 80 million probably isn't even midmarket anymore. That's pretty much in the bottom third by 2014.

The new TV contracts are kicking in and I think the Mets, even with their ownership issues, should be able to handle 90-95 million in payroll.
   52. Dan Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4315841)
With the Red Sox having 49 catchers, I wonder if the Mets can get Lavarnway from them.


I think the current plan is to trade Saltalamacchia and have Lavarnway split catching duties with Ross, so this seems unlikely.

Those are the buyouts for Santana and Bay's options. Carlos didn't have an option and the Mets traded him anyway. I don't think the Mets are going to drop all the way down to the 80 million dollar payroll range. The Mets were at 90 million this year and didn't they have to pay back the 25 million they borrowed from MLB? 80 million probably isn't even midmarket anymore. That's pretty much in the bottom third by 2014.


I was wondering this too. Anything below 100M seems below average by 2014 for sure, and <80M definitely seems small market rather than mid market in that time frame.
   53. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:08 PM (#4315843)
No one really answered my question in 41. Would you guys be happy with a Holland for Dickey deal?
   54. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4315845)
No one???
   55. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4315851)
A thousand apologies, sir. Please forgive my oversight.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4315853)
I would not trade Dickey for Holland. Or at least it is not enticing to me.
   57. The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4315876)
Sure, Dickey for Holland works for me.

Texas and KC do at least have some outfielders. Texas has a Cuban import CF, Leonys Martin, who looks like he could be pretty good. But I don't know if they can deal him before they know what's up with Josh Hamilton.

I wonder if KC would be willing to trade Lorenzo Cain and put Wil Myers in CF, satisfying their Frenchy urge. Probably not; I don't get the impression Myers is a great fielder. It's not like Cain is a budding star anyway.

Jurrickson Profar would obviously be off the table; I don't think even KC is dumb enough to consider giving up Myers in this scenario; and I doubt Jake Odorizzi is realistic either. 3B/1B Mike Olt is perhaps not out of the question, but we'd have to be sure he could hack it in corner OF. I'm sure both teams would be trying very hard to pawn a group of Grade B/C prospects on us rather than give up a potential star. Which is always annoying.

I really hope it doesn't get to the point where we trade R.A. Dickey for an uninspiring prospect package. I'd rather just pay him to pitch this year, even in a useless cause, if that's the alternative.
   58. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4315899)
Apparently, the Jays are trying to get Dickey and have included Arencibia as part of the package. I'm sure the Mets are going to want more than that.
   59. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM (#4315910)
The Blue Jays would have my two favorite players.
   60. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4315915)
Dickey for Holland would be acceptable, but I'm not sure it would be acceptable for anyone but Mets fans.

EDIT: Erased idiotic reading of fractions.
   61. JJ1986 Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4315933)
Arencibia is really awful against righties and I wouldn't give up Dickey for a platoon catcher. d'Arnaud, on the other hand, would be a nice get.
   62. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4315938)
As many know, I try to temper the pessimism around here; but I fear trading trading Dickey for an Arencibia-based package seems like just the sort of awful thing the Mets would do.
   63. formerly dp Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4315944)
Apparently, the Jays are trying to get Dickey and have included Arencibia as part of the package.
Unless he's a throw-in, a deal with him in it makes next to no sense. I get the need for a non-Thole catcher, especially after the Mike Nickeas Experience, but if that's any sort of significant part of a Dickey package, they should just walk away.
   64. formerly dp Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4315950)
but I fear trading trading Dickey for an Arencibia-based package seems like just the sort of awful thing the Mets would do.
On the other side of the equation, it's just the sort of awesome thing Anthroplus would do.
   65. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4315952)
Arencibia? Isn't the real Rod Barajas a free agent?
   66. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4315957)
I seriously doubt that the Mets would trade Dickey in a deal where Arencibia is the most important part of the package. Also, am I the only one who thinks Thole is still a viable starter?
   67. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4315962)
It's possible that Thole can still be a viable starter - I agree with you when you say that this year will tell us a lot.
   68. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4315963)
Dickey for Arencibia and Reyes!
   69. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4315967)
I think Thole might be viable. But he needs to prove it.
   70. JJ1986 Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4315988)
I'd stick with Thole, but I'd want a backup like Shoppach who can play 40-45% of the time.
   71. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4316002)
Dickey for Arencibia and Reyes!


Only if Toronto is willing to eat that salary!
   72. zack Posted: December 03, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4316011)
I'd stick with Thole, but I'd want a backup like Shoppach who can play 40-45% of the time.

And if you're going to play Thole, you need a lefty-masher back-up C.

2009-2011 Thole is an okay player as long as he is basically free. Thole's issue is that a lot of his value is in walks, with no power or speed whatsoever. The fear was always going to be, when people saw how much of a power threat he wasn't, they'd just knock the bat out of his hands. It's hard to read much into the numbers, but his first strike % against and his strike % against have both gone up while the walk rate is dropping, which is exactly what you don't want to see. Combined with a mediocre arm, a strict platoon bat and terrible speed makes for one of the most marginal players around, certainly in tools if not results.

It's a shame really, if he had hit a little worse when he first came up he could've had his Backup Catcher card stamped and had a long MLB career.
   73. bunyon Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4316036)
The thread contains its own answer: the Mets will trade Dickey for the rights to Chelsea Baker. They get payroll relief and you guys get a knuckleballer with an even more interesting story. Win-win.
   74. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4316041)
Oh, as a lefty, I think Thole definitely could have a nice career as a backup in his future. He'll get his fully vested pension.

He definitely is a Luis Castillo clone as a hitter. But slow. That's not a good thing.
   75. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4316059)
Josh Thole has scored 65 runs in the majors, in 300+ games, 900+ ABs. That is impressive.

He didn't qualify last year, but had he, he would have had the third lowest ISO in the majors. Ben Revere and Jamey Carroll almost lapped the field, finishing .033 ahead of third place, Rafael Furcal. Thole was substantially closer to the two Twins than he was to Furcal.
   76. billyshears Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4316060)
I'm with #69. I think Thole is viable enough that I'm not dying to replace him with Arencibia, but not so viable that I wouldn't jump at D'Arnaud. So long as we're talking Toronto, I think an Arencibia/Anthony Gose deal could work, though I suppose that depends how high one is on Gose. I like him, but I fear he is just Carlos Gomez, Part II.
   77. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4316068)
Actually if we're talking about Toronto, we might as well mention John Buck. Not that anyone would be excited to acquire him or that he has any value. Just that if you were looking for a boring righty veteran catcher to pair up with Thole, he's probably available. I still think Shoppach slots in perfectly well.
   78. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 04, 2012 at 12:15 AM (#4316087)
Gomez has developed into a nice player.
   79. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 04, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4316107)
If you believe fangraphs, Gomez already has had 3 2+ WAR seasons and he's just entering what should be his prime. He'd be the Mets best outfielder by a mile if they acquired him tomorrow but that's not saying much. That said, he's looking like a good starting centerfielder.

Josh Thole has scored 65 runs in the majors, in 300+ games, 900+ ABs. That is impressive.


That's partly on him but also where he hits in the lineup. He hits in front of a pitcher and Ruben Tejada. You aren't going to score a ton of runs that way.
   80. billyshears Posted: December 04, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4316118)
If you believe fangraphs, Gomez already has had 3 2+ WAR seasons and he's just entering what should be his prime. He'd be the Mets best outfielder by a mile if they acquired him tomorrow but that's not saying much. That said, he's looking like a good starting centerfielder.


Gomez' fielding is doing an awful lot of work in those numbers. Plus, Gose may be where Gomez was 5 years ago.
   81. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4316213)
Gomez' fielding is doing an awful lot of work in those numbers.


Yes, it is. So is Lucas Duda's in his, right?
   82. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4316218)
I wouldn't trade Dickey except for some absurd package no one would give up. The most interesting, enjoyable player the Mets have had since Hernandez? Not a chance. Pay him for 2013 and 2014, give him a vesting option for 2015 if necessary, and get it done.

At espn.go

WASHINGTON -- The Mets' payroll, which dropped an historic amount last offseason, to roughly $90 million, is unlikely to increase for 2013, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com.

"They may have $10 million to $15 million max to spend -- if Sandy [Alderson] is lucky," the source said. "The Mets' internal conversations have been no increase in payroll next year -- and may be another reduction, which would be a disaster."


The Mets seem to have paid off the 25m MLB loan. Also espn:

Mets owners favorably settled a lawsuit related to Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme earlier this year, and should have to pay out no more than $40 million apiece in 2016 and 2017. They also received a $240 million infusion from new minority investors.

Much of that investment, however, immediately was redirected toward paying off debt, including a $40 million bridge loan from Bank of America and an emergency $25 million loan from Major League Baseball.


For those of you who like to dream, here's the Mets with a $150m payroll.

I hadn't realized attendance only dropped by 700 or so a game despite the payroll slashing. Does this means the Wilpons were right, from their perverse point of view, to hang onto the team?
   83. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4316221)
He hits in front of a pitcher and Ruben Tejada. You aren't going to score a ton of runs that way.

Ruben hit .289 last year and for a rather good portion of the year hit over .300 - the blame of Thole not scoring is not heavily on Ruben's shoulders.
   84. formerly dp Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4316222)
For those of you who like to dream, here's the Mets with a $150m payroll.
That was fun.
   85. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4316230)
Ruben hit .289 last year and for a rather good portion of the year hit over .300 - the blame of Thole not scoring is not heavily on Ruben's shoulders.

He has no power. You're not going to drive in a slow base runner who also has no power in with a single.
   86. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4316234)
58. Russlan will never be fond of Jason Bay Posted: December 03, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4315899)
Apparently, the Jays are trying to get Dickey and have included Arencibia as part of the package. I'm sure the Mets are going to want more than that.


Under Anthopoulous, its pretty much a guarantee that if there's a rumour of a deal its not going to happen.
   87. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4316236)
He has no power. You're not going to drive in a slow base runner who also has no power in with a single.

I understand this, but not even Wright would have driven in Thole that much. I'm fine with Ruben's (lack of) power being a supplementary reason for Thole's lack of runs, but it doesn't seem near the top of the list.
   88. formerly dp Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4316239)
for a rather good portion of the year hit over .300
I did not realize how bad his second half ended up-- August was passable, and September, terrible. Thole I just felt bad for all season.
   89. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4316241)
For those of you who like to dream, here's the Mets with a $150m payroll.
That was fun.


The funny part is that the projected outfield still sucks - Bay, Duda, Neuwenhuis/Den Dekker.

   90. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4316296)
Reportedly the Red Sox inquired about Dickey and Alderson requsted both Bogaerts and Bradley. (One top 20 prospect, arguably top 10, and one top 50 prospect). If that's their approach, it seems pretty likely Dickey is staying in New York.
   91. billyshears Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4316299)
Yes, it is. So is Lucas Duda's in his, right?


Right, but while I can compare Gose's bat to Gomez's bat, I don't know how Gose's defense compares to Gomez's defense.
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4316311)
Reportedly the Red Sox inquired about Dickey and Alderson requsted both Bogaerts and Bradley. (One top 20 prospect, arguably top 10, and one top 50 prospect). If that's their approach, it seems pretty likely Dickey is staying in New York.

That seems like the right approach. He's willing to take a reasonable extension, reportedly 2/30, so you only move him if someone makes a great offer.
   93. Conor Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4316328)
WASHINGTON -- The Mets' payroll, which dropped an historic amount last offseason, to roughly $90 million, is unlikely to increase for 2013, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com.

"They may have $10 million to $15 million max to spend -- if Sandy [Alderson] is lucky," the source said. "The Mets' internal conversations have been no increase in payroll next year -- and may be another reduction, which would be a disaster."


I tried to find this; was this from August? Doesn't mean it's not right, but it's also possible things have changed at least a little bit.
   94. JJ1986 Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4316334)
I would trade Dickey for Bogaerts straight-up in a second.
   95. Ravecc Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4316341)
I don’t understand why Alderson’s so chatty and his front office quite leaky. It’s almost as if he’s fueling the speculation on Dickey, and/or laying the groundwork for fans to accept it when it happens. I can’t quibble with the process: parallel negotiations with other teams and Dickey, see which is better for the team. I’m just not comfortable with every move tweeted in advance.

==

Even if the Mets keep payroll to 2012 levels, they deferred $15m of Bay's contract so they have some money to spend.
   96. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4317343)
I tried to find this; was this from August? Doesn't mean it's not right, but it's also possible things have changed at least a little bit.
Yeah, for some reason I couldn't get the a link to work, but iirc it was current.

He has no power. You're not going to drive in a slow base runner who also has no power in with a single.

I understand this, but not even Wright would have driven in Thole that much. I'm fine with Ruben's (lack of) power being a supplementary reason for Thole's lack of runs, but it doesn't seem near the top of the list.


Wright had 41-2-21 = 64 extra base hits, while
Tejada had 26-0-1 = 27

That was in 501/670 = 75% of Wright's plate appearance. Adjust accordingly and Tejada improves to around 34-0-1.

Do the math the way you want, but Wright has something like 31 more extra base hits than Tejada, and would drive in Thole from 1B something like an additional 7 (or so) times over the course of a full season. Not that big a deal.

The funny part is that the projected outfield still sucks - Bay, Duda, Neuwenhuis/Den Dekker.
Which is why I'm not as optimistic as I'd like to be.

   97. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4317351)
Do the math the way you want, but Wright has something like 31 more extra base hits than Tejada, and would drive in Thole from 1B something like an additional 7 (or so) times over the course of a full season. Not that big a deal.


7 does seem pretty substantial, given that it represents about 30% of the runs Thole scored last year. Of course this ignores the many times that Wright would advance Thole without scoring him.
   98. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:31 AM (#4317374)
It was a complete, back of the envelope type thing, but I did figure in those rare occasions when a Wright double would move Thole from first only to third, and didn't adjust much at all for batting average. But that's about all I'm going to defend it--I was mostly curious to get a sense of the answer to the question of how Thole would do with more of a power hitter behind him. Was it 30 runs, or 5?

Thole's run scoring is simply wacky. He's got to be right around the worst per PA, non-pitcher category.
   99. bobm Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4317404)
Josh Thole has scored 65 runs in the majors, in 300+ games, 900+ ABs. That is impressive.

That's partly on him but also where he hits in the lineup. He hits in front of a pitcher and Ruben Tejada. You aren't going to score a ton of runs that way


Thole is also painful to watch with runners on base. In 2012 he drove in 11% of runners on 2nd and only 27% of runners on 3rd. Granted he probably had more PAs than league average with 2 outs, but still pretty poor.

Thole's career split with runners on 3rd and < 2 outs: .234 BA in 58 PA; 29 RBI out of 58 RO 3rd/ 92 RISP/ 125 RO.
   100. Paul D(uda) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4317408)
Dillon Gee looks like he'd fit a need for the Jays, but I don't know that the Jays would want to trade Arrencibia for him, more likely that they'd look to trade Buck plus a low level prospect.
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