According to many Toronto Blue Jays fans the Blue Jays have committed the ultimate sin. They’ve overpayed in prospects to get R.A. Dickey. After all what’s the point of having prospects if you’re just going to go trading them for the reigning National League CY Young Award Winner.
Even if you’re on team common sense, if you have any knowledge of the Blue Jays prospects, chances are you were stunned when you found out that the Jays were giving up Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard. At first you might have even agreed that it was an overpay. When you get over the initial shock of these 2 top Blue Jays prospects being traded and really look at the trade you start to realize the Blue Jays have really underpayed.
Like most trades it will take a few years to see which team won or if it worked out for both sides but as of right now this is a big steal for the Blue Jays.
One of the most overlooked things about this trade is that usually when you’re trading for an elite pitcher, let alone the last CY Young Award Winner you’re giving up 3 of your top prospects at the least and sometimes even 4. That involves taking even a bigger risk because 3 or 4 prospects obviously have a better chance of turning into something significant than just 2. Apparently the Mets didn’t get the memo on that and Blue Jays were lucky the Mets were happy with just 2 prospects.
Yes, Syndergaard was one of the Blue Jays top pitching prospects but he hadn’t even pitched above Low A in his career. Even the most advanced scouts have no idea if he’ll even be good enough to make it to the big leagues or what kind of player he would be in the big leagues. He’s still years away from the big leagues and needs lots of developing. Like any prospect in the low minors he was just one possible bad season away from losing all his hype and trade value. The odds of him turning into nothing are a lot better than him turning into something. The odds of him providing half as much value to the Blue Jays as R.A. Dickey will are slim to none.
Then there’s Travis D’Arnaud. The Blue Jays top prospect and one of the top 10 prospects in all of baseball and the top catching prospect in all of baseball. There’s so much hype around D’Arnaud the Mets wouldn’t trade Dickey to the Blue Jays without getting him.
Travis D’Arnaud hasn’t played a full season at Triple A yet. He had a high strikeout rate and was very injury prone. Those are things that are a lot more noticeable when he’s not a prospect on your favorite team anymore. You add in the fact that catchers take longer than most position players to develop their hitting and you start to realize that as low a standard as JPA has set it would be unrealistic to expect D’Arnaud to be significantly better than JPA right away. D’Arnaud was also supposed to just be a great hitter for a catcher not just a great hitter in general. Great hitting for a catcher is usually a lot less than what you’d get from every other position on the diamond. His offensive contribution would hardly be big enough for any Jays fan to cry about losing.
Yes D’Arnaud COULD eventually develop into an above average catcher but if you checked recently above average starting pitching is what wins championships not above average catchers.
R.A. Dickey could very well regress dramatically and end up just being a wasted roster spot while D’Arnaud and Syndergaard turn into All Stars. As of right now The Mets got a Low A starter whose career has barely started and a catcher that could hit better than most catchers which isn’t a very high standard to begin with. While the Blue Jays got the reigning National League CY Young Award Winner whose been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball the last 3 seasons. If that’s not a huge underpay nothing is.