r.a. dickey mets getty

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


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


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.

While we wait for free agent signings: Andrew McCutchen stars in a one-act play

Andrew McCutchen
Leave a comment

It’s a pretty slow offseason so far. We’ve had a couple of minor signings. I guess Jordan Zimmermann is sort of a big deal. But it’s a lot more quiet so far this year than it was this time last year. I suppose there’s no real rhyme nor reason for it. Baseball offseason is long, there is no salary cap and thus there’s no rush to do things too quickly.

So, while we wait, here’s Andrew McCutchen doing his best to kill time until spring training starts:

Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young

Chris Young Getty

Veteran outfielder Chris Young thrived in a platoon role for the Yankees this past season and now he’s headed to the rival Red Sox to fill a similar role, signing a multi-year deal with Boston according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Young was once an everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks, making the All-Star team in 2010 at age 26, but for the past 3-4 years he’s gotten 300-350 plate appearances in a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitching. He hit .252 with 14 homers and a .773 OPS for the Yankees, but prior to that failed to top a .700 OPS in 2013 or 2014.

Given the Red Sox’s outfield depth–Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt even with Hanley Ramirez back in the infield–Young is unlikely to work his way into everyday playing time at age 32, but he should get another 300 or so plate appearances while also providing a veteran fallback option. And it’s possible his arrival clears the way for a trade.

David Price said to care about more than just the money

David Price

Every year free agency brings with it its own set of politics and talking points and spin. Factors which are said to be more important to players than the money being offered.

And, to be fair, there is one big factor that is likely more important than money for many of them: winning. I truly believe players want to win. They say it all the time and there’s no reason to think they’re being disingenuous about that, especially the ones who have been around the game a long time.

I’ll note, however, that given how success cycles work in baseball (i.e. teams that aren’t close to being true contenders aren’t likely to be spending big in free agency anyway) that consideration often washes out of the system. Every year you hear of one or two losing teams making a big, competitive offer to a free agent, but it’s not that common.

What I’m talking about more here are the truly soft factors. Factors which often anchor hot stove rumors, but which rarely if ever truly stand out as determining factors when it comes to where a free agent ends up. Examples of these include geographic proximity to where the player grew up, his wife grew up, he went to college or what have you. Remember how CC Sabathia was going to play in California? And Mark Teixeira was going to play for Baltimore? Heck, I’m so old I remember when Brandon Webb was gonna break the bank playing for the Reds.

It’s pretty rare, though, for that to pan out. Sabathia and Teixeira went to New York. If Brandon Webb’s shoulder had cooperated it’s not likely he would’ve ended up in Cincinnati. Money talks for free agents, much louder than any of the soft considerations. Even when, like Mike Hampton and his Denver-public-school-loving self claimed that he signed with the Rockies for reasons other than the fact that they unloaded the money truck for him.

I think we’re seeing a new soft factor emerge. Today Peter Gammons reported this about David Price:

Cities are fairly strong as soft factors go, I reckon. Somewhere south of money and winning but north of “my wife’s family lives there.” Money can make up the difference between a fun city and a lame city, but if things are equal, going someplace you want to be likely is a factor.

But that second one — being able to hit — seems a bit suspect. This is not the first time I’ve heard that this offseason. Zack Greinke was said to prefer the NL because he likes to hit. I’ve heard this about other pitchers too. I question how important a factor that truly is — the actual hitting part actually affecting a free agent decision — as much as I suspect it’s a negotiating tool designed to get AL teams to pay a premium to get the guy to “give up” hitting. Or, more likely, that it’s code for “it’s WAY easier to pitch in the NL because I get to face a pitcher who can’t hit for crap 2-3 times a game.”

On some level I suppose this is all unknowable. I doubt David Price or some other free agent pitcher is ever going to hold a January press conference in which he says the following:

“Well, the money was absolutely equal between the final two suitors and, as you know, both made the playoffs last year and play in cities with copious cultural resources for my family and me. And, having plotted the two cities on Google Maps, I discovered that the two cities are each EXACTLY 347 miles from my Aunt Tilly’s house! What are the friggin’ odds?

Ultimately, though, I signed here so I could bat.”

Like I said, not likely. But wouldn’t it be something if that happened? If so, I’d probably cast a 12-inch statue of Mike Hampton and start giving out an annual award or something.

Player pool for MLB postseason shares is a record $69 million

television money

MLB just announced the postseason shares for this year and the players’ overall pool is a record total of $69.9 million. Nice.

That total gets divided among playoff participants, with Royals receiving $25,157,573.73 for winning the World Series and Mets getting $16,771,715.82 for finishing runner-up. That works out to $370,069.03 each for the Royals and $300,757.78 each for the Mets.

Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that the Royals have issued full playoff shares to a total of 58 people, plus 8.37 partial shares and 50 “cash rewards.” In other words: There was a whole bunch of money to go around if you were in any way involved in the Royals’ championship run.

According to MLB public relations the previous high for the overall player pool was $65.4 million in 2012 and the Mets’ playoff share is the highest ever for a World Series-losing team, topping the Tigers’ share of $291,667.68 in 2006. Kansas City’s playoff share is slightly less than San Francisco received last year.

Here are the individual postseason share amounts by team:

Royals – $370,069.03
Mets – $300,757.78
Blue Jays – $141,834.40
Cubs – $122,327.59
Astros – $36,783.25
Cardinals – $34,223.65
Dodgers – $34,168.74
Rangers – $34,074.40
Pirates – $15,884.20
Yankees – $13,979.99