r.a. dickey mets getty

Mets on verge of trading R.A. Dickey to Blue Jays

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SUNDAY, 2:09 PM: The seven-player trade has been agreed to in principle. Bang it HERE for more.

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SATURDAY, 9:45 PM: Sherman says the trade, as it now stands, will send Dickey, Thole and a non-elite prospect to the Blue Jays for d’Arnaud, Syndergaard, Buck and a non-elite prospect. Sherman guesses that the swap might not be finalized until Monday.

6:58 PM: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York heard from an “in-the-know” source that a resolution might not happen on Saturday night. It seems likely that talks will trail into Sunday.

3:04 PM: Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that as of this morning, seven players were involved in the deal, including four coming to the Mets and three going to the Blue Jays.

Puma hears that the Jays want a catcher back and speculates that Josh Thole could be involved. He has a rapport with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, so that would make sense. If that happens, it’s possible the Mets could take John Buck in the deal.

Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger hears that Blue Jays prospect right-handers Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez have also been discussed. Those are two impressive prospects, so this deal could get a little crazy.

2:54 PM: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Mets and Blue Jays are “inching toward the finish line” on the deal. Some players’ medicals have been reviewed and OK’d, but there’s still work to be done. R.A. Dickey and Travis d’Arnaud are the centerpieces of the deal, but still no word on the other players involved.

12:55 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Mets rejected a package of Gose and Arencibia. The two sides have since agreed on d’Arnaud as the center piece in a deal for Dickey, but they are currently trying to finalize the last piece. Assuming they can agree on the other players in the deal, it’s now thought that Dickey is willing to talk about an extension.

11:42 AM: Hold the phone. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Anthony Gose is NOT part of the trade talks for R.A. Dickey. However, Travis d’Arnaud is.

11:19 AM: Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that if the Blue Jays are to include d’Arnaud and Gose, they need to have Dickey signed to a two-year extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets.

9:30 AM: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News confirms that the Blue Jays are willing to offer d’Arnaud and Gose in a trade for Dickey. We’re still awaiting word on the other players involved.

8:15 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that the Mets and Blue Jays have reached agreement on the players involved. No word yet on the full scope of the trade.

Meanwhile, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that the Blue Jays have been looking at the medicals on Dickey since at least yesterday afternoon. It’s yet another indication that a deal is close to being finalized.

1:27 AM: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Mets and Blue Jays are “on the verge” of a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto and d’Arnaud to New York. The teams are currently looking at medicals, so it sounds pretty close.

As Rosenthal mentioned earlier, Passan hears that more players are involved in the deal.

11:55 PM, Friday: Rosenthal and his colleague, Jon Paul Morosi, are reporting on FOXSports.com that Gose is likely to be included in the deal while the Mets are also expected to receive either d’Arnaud or Arencibia. As Rosenthal noted earlier, if d’Arnaud is included, the deal is likely to be expanded.

11:36 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com confirms that d’Arnaud is “very much in play” in trade talks for Dickey. However, he notes that the deal would be bigger, with multiple pieces going both ways.

You may recall that the trade talks between the Marlins and Blue Jays began with Josh Johnson and morphed into something much larger. While it’s unlikely 12 players will be involved this time, it probably won’t be a simple swap.

10:30 PM: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News was told by “a person with direct knowledge of the discussions” that during the Winter Meetings, d’Arnaud was a “must have” for the Mets to do a trade with the Blue Jays. Toronto resisted at the time, but a person involved in the potential trade has expressed a “gut feeling” that d’Arnaud may be involved. Again, nothing confirmed.

Contrary to earlier reports, Martino hears that Dickey is willing to sign a contract extension if he’s traded to the Blue Jays. This could have a major impact on the return package.

8:00 PM: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports hears that the Mets may be getting prospect catcher Travis d’Arnaud back from the Blue Jays, though he cautions that the information is unconfirmed. However, he was discussed “heavily” in trade talks along with fellow catcher J.P. Arencibia.

6:07 PM: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was told by “two people involved” to not expect resolution with Dickey tonight. Things could always change, but it appears he’ll remain with the Mets for at least one more day.

5:45 PM: FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a possible trade involving Dickey. However, it’s not a done deal yet.

Also, updating a previous story by Joel Sherman, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that reports suggesting Dickey wouldn’t sign a contract extension with the Jays are false.

4:29 PM: Jon Heyman is hearing that the players coming back from Toronto — assuming a deal can get done — are J.P. Arencibia and Anthony Gose, though that may just be speculation, as those two have been talked about in trades involving the Blue Jays for some time. And let’s keep in mind that this is all fluid and depend on Dickey being willing to sign an extension. We think. As we learned with the Shin-Soo Choo trade earlier this week, early reports may only be capturing part of the story.

Rosenthal says the Rangers are OUT on Dickey.

4:05 PM: Joel Sherman reports that the Mets and Blue Jays are far along in trade talks for Dickey — and a deal could be close — but that things are being held up by Dickey’s refusal to agree to sign a contract extension with Toronto. Now, he needn’t sign off on the trade — he has no no-trade protection — but obviously the Jays would be far more willing to give up real value to the Mets if they can lock up Dickey for what will, presumably, be three years instead of just 2013.

Updates, obviously, as warranted.

3:30 PM: In case you didn’t think that the Mets were serious about trading R.A. Dickey:

The Rangers have been talked about as a possible trade partner with the Mets for a couple of days. The Jays and Orioles, not so much.

Mariners sign reliever Joel Peralta

Joel Peralta
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Right-hander Joel Peralta has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners that includes an invitation to spring training.

Peralta spent last season with the Dodgers and was limited to 29 innings by neck and back problems, posting a 4.34 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio. Los Angeles declined his $2.5 million option, making him a free agent.

He was one of the most underrated relievers in baseball from 2010-2014, logging a total of 318 innings with a 3.34 ERA and 342 strikeouts, but at age 40 he’s shown signs of decline. Still, for a minor-league deal and no real commitment Peralta has a chance to be a nice pickup for Seattle’s bullpen.

White Sox sign Mat Latos

Mat Latos
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Jerry Crasnick reports that the Chicago White Sox have signed Mat Latos.

Latos was pretty spiffy between 2010-2014, posting sub-3.50 ERAs each year.  Then the injuries came and he fell apart. He pitched for three teams in 2015 — the Dodgers, Angels, and Marlins — with a combined 4.95 ERA in 113 innings. And he didn’t make friends on those clubs either, with reports of clubhouse strife left in his wake.

In Chicago he gets a fresh start. It doesn’t come in a park that will do him any favors — Latos and U.S. Cellular Field don’t seem like a great match — but at this point beggars can’t be choosers.

 

Jason Castro loses arbitration hearing against Astros

Jason Castro
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Veteran catcher Jason Castro and the Astros went through with an arbitration hearing over a difference of $250,000 and the three-person panel ruled in favor of the team.

That means Castro will make $5 million this season rather than his requested amount of $5.25 million. This is his final year of arbitration eligibility, so the 29-year-old catcher will be a free agent after the season.

Castro showed a lot of promise early on, including making the All-Star team at age 26 in 2013, but since then he’s hit just .217 with a .650 OPS in 230 games. His power and pitch-framing skills are a valuable combination even within sub par overall production, so 2016 will be a key year for the former first-round draft pick.

Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Eminent Domain and the history of the Rangers Ballpark

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Eminent Domain — the right of a government to take/buy private property for public use — and its implications has always been a controversial topic. It became far more controversial in the 1990s and early 2000s, however,  as the practice, which is intended for public projects like roads and stuff, was increasingly used in ways to help developers and businesses.

The controversy came to a head in the 2005 case Kelo v. City of New London in which the Supreme Court held that general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth — not just direct public works — qualified as a “public use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The upshot: if someone had a good argument that a shopping mall would benefit the community, Mr. Developer and the government can force you to sell them their house.

This led to a HUGE backlash, with property rights people freaking out about what seemed like a pretty clear abuse of governmental power serving the interests of developers. Some 44 states have since passed laws outlawing the use of Eminent Domain for purely economic development. Some of that backlash has gone too far in the other direction, with some laws getting passed which not only required compensation to landowners if land was taken, but merely if land was diminished in value.  Like, if the government passes an environmental regulation which makes your private, for-profit toxic waste dump less lucrative than it was, the government has to pay you. It’s crazy stuff, really. And all of those laws notwithstanding, the topic continues to be a controversial one, with battles over what, exactly, is “public” what is a “public good” and all of that raging on. It’s rather fascinating. At least for boring nerfherders like me.

In the recent GOP presidential debate Donald Trump and Jeb Bush got into it on the topic, with Trump — a real estate developer, or course — defending the use of Eminent Domain to take land for economic development and Bush — a really desperate dude who at this point will take ANY position he can if it’ll give him traction — opposing it. In the days since they’ve continued to fight about it, with Trump charging Bush with hypocrisy since his brother, George W., was an owner of the Texas Rangers when they built their new ballpark with the help of Eminent Domain.

Ahh, yes. We finally get to baseball.

Today Nathaniel Rakich of Baseballot digs into that project and looks at how it all played out against the Eminent Domain debate. It touches on stuff we talk about a lot around here: are ballparks engines of economic development or merely for the enrichment of ballclubs? If they are built by a municipality, are they public goods? Wait, how can they be public goods if you can’t just walk into them for free? And the arguments go on.

It’s fascinating stuff showing, once again, that the real world and baseball intersect all the dang time and it’s handy to have a handle on just how, exactly, it does so.