Report: Blue Jays want Dickey’s option, impact on others?


The Toronto Blue Jays are planning to pick up R.A. Dickey‘s $12 million option for 2016, according to a report this morning from Jon Heyman of CBS. This move has become increasingly expected while Dickey has grown stronger as the rotation looks uncertain around him, and removes one moving piece from the 2016 roster discussion.

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In retaining Dickey for one more season, the Blue Jays give themselves something that’s become a buzzword in Toronto sports circles: “200 guaranteed innings”. I’ve argued throughout the summer that those innings aren’t a trump card if they do not come with a certain level of quality, but with Dickey once again turning the corner late in the season, even the strongest doubters have grown more comfortable.

Our Shaun Doyle dug into this divide earlier in the week, asking if Jays fans are finally satisfied with Dickey himself, or if the spotlight being removed from him has softened how critical we are. Heyman also notes that the man who’s drawn ire for targeting Dickey initially, general manager Alex Anthopoulos, is likely to return with a new contract and is favored by Shapiro.

Heyman’s report grows more interesting, however, when he discusses the potential of the Blue Jays re-signing ace pitcher David Price. “The Jays hope they have a chance to sign David Price. Things have gone as well as anyone could have hoped, but the Jays know it won’t be easy. The Blue Jays have the revenue to make a run at him. If they do sign Price, it could mean slightly less chance to extend Jose Buatista or Encarnacion as they have long intended.”

Both Bautista and Encarnacion are due to hit free agency following the 2016 season, meaning that Dickey’s $12 million would be off the books and a non-factor by that point. If the Blue Jays were able to shock us with a Price signing, wouldn’t that make it more sensible to go all-in with new deals for one or both of the sluggers?

Next season will be critical for both of them, as they’re reaching the point in their careers where players can begin to hit a wall. A down season from Encarnacion, for example, could tempt the Blue Jays to move on if a Price contract really stretched them that thin. As the face of the franchise, however, I struggle to see Bautista going elsewhere, especially given the longterm presence of Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki.

Between Bautista, Encarnacion and the outside chance that Toronto chooses to extend Josh Donaldson past his remaining arbitration years, don’t count out the Blue Jays inking an extension this offseason to settle their roster. Moving pieces remain, but it appears that we can officially cross Dickey’s name off the list.

Next: Josh Donaldson: Toronto's new Paul Molitor

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