June 13, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) is congratulated by catcher Mike Nickeas (4) after throwing a compete game one hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Mets won 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsWhen people talk about the R.A. Dickey trade they talk about R.A. Dickey (obviously), the former top Toronto Blue Jays prospects the New York Mets received: Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard and R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher over the last few years Josh Thole. Because all the focus is on those four players it’s very easy to forget that the R.A. Dickey trade was in fact a 7 player trade. The New York Mets also got John Buck, prospect Wuilmer Becerra and the Blue Jays got Mike Nickeas.
Mike Nickeas being completely forgotten in the trade would make sense if the Blue Jays got him just for the sake of completing the trade and nothing else. That is not the case at all though.
The Blue Jays got the Mets to include Mike Nickeas in the trade because he has experience catching R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball. Before the Blue Jays acquired Henry Blanco Mike Nickeas was going to be the Blue Jays sole insurance and back-up plan in Triple A to catch R.A. Dickey if Josh Thole got injured.
As far as we know the battle for R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher is between Blanco and Thole. However, it’s not like either of them are going to be big offensive contributors. So you can’t completely rule out the possibility of Nickeas coming out of nowhere to be R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher if he gets an opportunity in Spring Training and does a great job.
Also as Blue Jays fans know from last season injuries happen. If Blanco and Thole both got injured during the season it wouldn’t be a complete disaster because Mike Nickeas could come up from the minors to catch Dickey.
The Blue Jays could very well end up never needing Mike Nickeas to catch R.A. Dickey. Still there’s no denying the depth he gives the Jays could eventually be a factor and should not be so easily forgotten.