December 17th, 2012: Blue Jays trade Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra, John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole
When looking back at some of the stinkers in trades the Blue Jays have made over the years, the one that comes immediately to mind for me was the 2012 trade that saw the New York Mets trade CY Young winner R.A. Dickey along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas in exchange for promising prospects Travis d’Arnaud, pitcher Noah Syndergaard and reliable backup catcher that we just received from the Marlins, John Buck.
At the time, I can understand Alex Anthopoulos’ thinking, let’s get a Cy Young winner in here to lead our team to the promised land, especially after the blockbuster with the Marlins. But man, looking back at this deal today, it stinks worse than a skunk smoking a joint at a sewage dump.
For starters, we had to take on Josh Thole as our catcher specifically for Dickey, and let’s be honest, that man thankfully was not an everyday catcher but when comparing his numbers to what d’Arnaud is becoming (minus last season because of his Tommy John surgery) you can easily see how the Mets won just on that trade alone.
Now the real stinker! We literally gave up Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey, a young up and comer for a pitcher who was at the tail end of his career, who also needed Thole because nobody else was able to catch a knuckleballer (Poor Martin did try).
Syndergaard has now gone on to become the ACE for the Mets, came in fourth place for the ROY, pitched in the All-Star game in 2016 along with coming in 8th in voting for the CY Young and 19th for the NL MVP. Looking below, it really shows exactly what we gave up and could have had. I have not been a fan of Anthopoulos’ for quite some time and it’s deals like this that deserve to be dropped off at the city dump.
Finally, let’s take into consideration when you look at the postseason records, Syndergaard was much more valuable to the Mets then Dickey was to the Jays, in fact, we did not even use Dickey in our 2016 post season rotation.
Looking back at this trade, with the money that was also spent to extend Dickey’s contract this was a bad move all around. In hindsight, if we never made this deal, could you imagine going into the postseason with a starting rotation of Syndergaard, Price, Stroman, and Estrada or Sanchez. Things that make you go hmmmm.
Jays Journal Contributor: Marc Tremblay