By Rich Coutinho
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The R.A. Dickey story was a compelling one, a journey that touched the heart of every Mets fan.
His contribution to this team should not be minimized in any way. But Sandy Alderson did the right thing, dealing him for blue-chip prospects, even though Monday’s trade with the Blue Jays was viewed as the incorrect move in some circles.
In talking to baseball scouts and team executives, many were amazed the Mets were able to get not only Travis d’Arnaud, who is generally regarded as the top catching prospect in the sport, but Toronto’s top pitching prospect as well.
“I would say he’s projected as a 20 home run, 90 RBI guy and a core bat in the middle of any lineup,” the scout said of d’Arnaud.
This trade fits the profile of Alderson — a team-building deal. He has the organization headed in the right direction. A core of David Wright, Ike Davis, d’Arnaud, Matt Harvey, Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler? That’s a pretty good group of players.
Not all were obtained on Sandy’s watch, but you get the idea.
Would the Mets be a better team with Dickey in 2013? Probably. But that’s not the point here. You traded a player whose market value perhaps at its highest for prospects you never would have acquired under normal circumstances. New York is beginning to stockpile prospects in a fashion that will both help build a solid foundation and provide a roster of enticing young talent for other teams to look at when the time comes to obtain a veteran via trade.
When Sandy took over this team, the problem was two-fold. He inherited some bad contracts and the Mets’ farm system was perceived to be poor. I do think the evaluation of Omar Minaya’s talent pool was a tad off base, but Sandy had to start from scratch in a lot of ways.
Because of the popularity of Dickey, I don’t expect this trade to be popular in every corner of Mets nation. But when you get past the emotion and look at this as a “baseball trade,” you may think differently about it.
And I assure you that a year or two from now, you will look at this as a watershed moment for the Mets. They did the right thing here.
Being a general manager is a tough job — you can’t let emotion get in the way. Sandy’s plan has always been about getting younger, more payroll flexibility, and starting to win more games.
I happen to like his plan — because it makes sense.
Are you on board with Alderson’s blueprint? Be heard in the comments!