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  1. As a Jays fan, I would have preferred to see another decent bat in the lineup. This still obviously improves our team this year but we appear to be that team that has 5 #2 or #3 starters as opposed to a legit ace. Although I could be completely wrong and Dickey could match last season’s display.

    Comment by Geoff — December 17, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  2. no mention of john buck with j.p and thole?

    Comment by MajorDanby — December 17, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  3. No. 2 starters don’t exactly grow on trees… I think I’d rather have 3 No. 2s than one No. 1….

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 17, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  4. Buck — an older, more expensive version of Arencibia — could be the No. 1 guy in NY until d’Arnaud is ready and then shift to a backup role.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 17, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  5. sorry, marc – didnt realize buck was part of the dickey trade. thought he was still sticking in toronto.

    Comment by MajorDanby — December 17, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  6. How does this Jays team need another bat? Their lineup is stacked, and deep. Bautista, Reyes, Melky (don’t forget he was part of the NL MVP conversation before the suspension), Encarnacion (monster 2012), Lawrie, Arrencibia (plus bat for a catcher). That’s an amazing top 6. Throw in some combination of Adam Lind, Colby Rasmus (who I believe in), Rajai Davis, Bonifacio, and Izturis. That’s an extremely useful crew of role/bench players. As this team is going all-out, they could try to sign adam laroche, but I don’t think that’s necessary.

    Couple this lineup with great starting pitching (plus JA Happ as a 6th starter and a more than capable injury relief), and this team is going places.

    Comment by will — December 17, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  7. Dickey certainly feels like a legit ace at this point to me, and there are all sorts of articles about statistical analysis and trends for knuckleball pitchers that show he isn’t expected to regress greatly for some time. I’m excited about having him be a part of my favorite team.

    Greinke, for 6 years, is receiving 5x as much money as Dickey is for 3 years. Compare stats over the last three years…

    R.A. Dickey, 2010–2012: 91 starts, 617 IP, 2.95 ERA, 468 Ks, 150 walks
    Zack Greinke, 2010–2012: 95 starts, 604 IP, 3.83 ERA, 582 Ks, 154 walks

    But yet, Greinke’s average annual salary is about 2.5x that of Dickeys.

    Any way you cut it, that’s a bargain of a contract for the Jays, even after the prospect cost.

    Comment by Radivel — December 17, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  8. Arencibia does not have a plus bat, even for a catcher. He hits it hard, but not often. He swings a lot, doesn’t walk. JPA is serviceable, but good? The Jays are crossing their fingers that he does better this year.

    Comment by Radivel — December 17, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  9. Marc,

    How does d’Arnaud compare as a prospect to Posey and Salty (just before they were called up)? Are/were they all comparably rated, where Posey reached his ceiling and Salty is scraping the floor, or was Posey light years ahead of the others?

    Comment by vivalajeter — December 17, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  10. I agree that he feels like an ace. From ’10 until the beginning of ’12, he was a very good pitcher. From the moment he started throwing the hard knuckleball, he became and elite pitcher.

    I’d also have to think that the dome would help him out, as they can either open or close the roof whenever he starts (depending on his preference).

    Comment by vivalajeter — December 17, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  11. Posey, d’Arnaud, Salty… in that order. The Giants prospect was definitely the best but also a college product.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 17, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  12. Buck is heading to the Mets in the deal.

    Comment by Preston — December 17, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  13. The dome is an interesting question. The fantastic New Yorker article on knuckleballers* said

    Most knucklers agree that wind in the face is good (anything to add resistance and turbulence), while wind blowing from behind spells doom. Heat and humidity are welcome, unless you’re pitching in a dome; for whatever reason, the consensus seems to be that central air-conditioning can work wonders. Boston’s Doug Mirabelli, who catches Wakefield exclusively (knucklers often get their own personal backstops), has observed that the SkyDome in Toronto causes an extra hiccup per pitch.

    Of course Dickey throws an “angry” knuckleball that apparently is rather different from the classic, so he may have a different opinion. (I wonder what he thought of roof open vs closed in Miami?)

    * from a few years back, so while the discussion about the art is eternal, the details have changed a bit. Dickey only pops up at the end.

    Comment by joser — December 17, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  14. Why is everyone pretending Dickey didn’t JUST win the NL Cy Young?

    Comment by Eminor3rd — December 17, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  15. d’Arnaud is old for a prospect… except that he’s a catcher. And he has a lot of injuries…which wouldn’t be so worrisome except that he’s a catcher. Even if the back troubles (2010) don’t recur, and the knee injury (2012) was a fluke, there are the two concussions (2011) to consider — again, a bigger red flag precisely because he’s a catcher. It may prove to be all behind him, but it has to throw a bit of a pall over his evaluation right now, doesn’t it?

    Comment by joser — December 17, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

  16. Melky – hmm, how much of his performance was possibly tainted?
    E5 – expected regression.
    Reyes – how many games will he play?
    Bautista – can’t argue here.
    Lawrie – hoping for strides this season.
    Arencibia – not a plus bat.

    A lot of ifs in the batting lineup, that’s all. Rotation was relatively deep before Dickey. I think a solid bat would have had a bigger impact for this team.

    Comment by Geoff — December 17, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  17. By wRC+, Arencibia ranked 20th out of 28 catchers with 300 or more PA’s.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — December 17, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  18. D’Arnaud didn’t have surgery on the knee.

    Comment by Brooks — December 17, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  19. I dunno If I would say JP has a “plus bat.”

    Comment by nilbog44 — December 17, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  20. I like this trade for the Jays because they’re in win-now mode and I believe that Dickey is a legitimate ace. Ace means top 30 starting pitchers in major league baseball. Expected, of course. I find it easy to argue that he is one of the top starting pitchers in baseball over the last three seasons. And of course what you did yesterday doesn’t really matter tomorrow, but I see no obvious reason why he can’t continue to be successful the way he has been since 2009. D’Arnaud has a lot of upside but is also a 24-year old prospect hitting like mad in a mad-hitting city (Vegas). My main concern as a Jays fan is that it leaves JPA as the main catcher without alternative. He’s league-average at best. I would’ve prefer the team keep Buck in the deal.

    Comment by hildebeast21 — December 17, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  21. This is good good deal for Blue Jays. I am very interested to see who the other 2 players are going to be. Maybe Mets can get Chase to play short.

    Comment by FieryFurnaces — December 17, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

  22. Who finishes last in the AL East in 2013? And will this team last place finisher be above or below .500?

    Comment by Robbie G. — December 17, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  23. Where did you get this definition of “ace” from? Best pitcher on each team? Does this make Wandy an ace, or how about.. uh.. the guy not named Stanton that didn’t get traded from the Marlins?

    Dickey is a #1 starter, an “ace” if there is a real definition for it I suppose, but not because he’s one fo the 30 best in the league.

    Comment by Radivel — December 17, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  24. The Orioles finish last, with a sub .500 record – they can’t pay the Baseball Wizard twice in a row. The Red Sox will compete with them for last, but the Sox should be able to hit their way to 4th place.

    Comment by Radivel — December 17, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

  25. Why are others pretending that he isn’t 38, doesn’t throw a unique version of a pitch that is extremely difficult to analyze when thrown normally, that he isn’t missing a ligament, and that he didn’t experience a dramatic spike in strikeout rate this year. That’s a whole helping of factors that confound our ability to project Dickey’s performance, so it’s totally defensible that people treat Dickey as less of a sure thing than other less unique pitchers.

    Comment by Bip — December 17, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

  26. Travis Woods a Kerry Woods grow on trees…

    Comment by Antonio bananas — December 17, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  27. Though I don’t use wins as a measurement of pitcher value — as should be obvious by the very fact I’m posting on this site — for some reason I feel comfortable using it to define an ace. For a while now, 20 wins has been a commonly used benchmark to classify elite pitching seasons. So, going along those lines, I would say an ace is a pitcher who, given a decent to good offense, defense, luck and bullpen, could reasonably be expected to win 20 games. This is obviously independent of whether a pitcher has actually won 20 games, but I think we all have a good image of the kind of guy who might be described as a “potential 20 game winner”. I don’t think this is the best way to define an ace, and yet, I think this gets the idea across well enough.

    Comment by Bip — December 17, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  28. I wonder if both the wildcards will come from the East this year. I feel like that must have been part of the reason for adding another wildcard, that the third best team in the AL East would probably have a good chance of winning the other divisions. On the other hand, with the Angels getting stronger and Houston coming to their division, it should be easier for them to win games, meaning a potential third place finisher in the East will have to compete with them and/or Texas. And of course we can’t count out Oakland.

    Comment by Bip — December 17, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

  29. Dickey was one of the three best pitchers in all of MLB last year period. He lead the NL in CG and SHO for crying out loud. He’s been especially durable and pitched through minor injuries this past season or he might have even had better stats.

    A 2.95 ERA and 600+ innings the next 3 seasons is as reasonable to expect as any good 30 year old pitcher. In fact, I might even have MORE of a confidence in a 38 year old knuckleballer holding up for 3 years than a 28 year old flamethrower with 6 full years of major league service.

    Why people think that knuckleballers can’t pitch past 40 when every good knunckleballer has, and has pitched well, is beyond me….

    Comment by Eric — December 17, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  30. Not every team in the AL EAST can be good. Boston (mediocre pitching), and Baltimore (see Boston) will battle it out for the doormat, both playing under .500 baseball. TB, TOR, and NYY all have superior pitching/offense.

    Comment by Eric — December 17, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  31. So the mets non-elite prospect is Nickeas? Is this the first time two catchers have been traded for two other catchers?

    Comment by Rags — December 17, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  32. additional comment regarding JP Arencibia

    Comment by commenter — December 17, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

  33. what exactly do you mean by low energy? I’m a mets fan, and that sounds like something that could be concerning.

    Comment by timtebow — December 17, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

  34. With two wild cards in play, deep depth is more likely to get you a division title than just a playoff slot. And a team that needs to burn its ace to get past the wild card game would find itself dependent on its 2&3 to survive the Division series.
    The new rules boost the value of winning the division outright so winning every last game with the tail-end of the rotation could make all the difference.

    Comment by fjtorres — December 17, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  35. I thought that was funny too (the part about Nickeas). “non-elite” is a huge understatement.

    Comment by vivalajeter — December 17, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  36. around which to build*

    Comment by inevitable — December 17, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  37. His hair was three hWAR last year though…

    Comment by Rags — December 17, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  38. Melky is too big of a question mark to be considered part of a stacked lineup.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — December 17, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

  39. It may regress in some places, but given the depth, the regression will be minimized as the “regressers” sit, or play less in favor of the studs and those having break out years.

    Comment by Cidron — December 17, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

  40. Alot of people have problems with the combination of “knuckleball” and “ace” together in the same sentence.

    Comment by Cidron — December 17, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

  41. It is pretty universally known–probably empirically proven, if I were not so lazy–that catchers require more time to develop. Pudge Rodriguez was not a solid contributor until his late twenties; Mike Piazza didn’t get his first season under his belt until he was 25 – same with Napoli. Buster Posey didn’t break through until he was 23.

    Even a one-in-a-generation talent like Joe Mauer who is major league ready just out of high school was still sent to the Minors for 2.5 years by the twins. Catchers are just treated differently as prospects.

    D’Arnaud is not an old prospect, he is one with several years of development under his belt. He is almost major league ready.

    Comment by Angus Archer — December 17, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  42. Right, which is why I caveated the “old” part with “except that he’s a catcher.” And then spent the rest of my comment talking about the injuries, because I consider that a much bigger red flag. I don’t know why you spent all of your comment taking issue with something I agreed with.

    Comment by joser — December 17, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  43. Absolutely, until you have to win a game seven. Granted, that’s a problem most teams would love to have, and yes I realize that there likely is no game seven unless you have at least one more good starter.

    Comment by BronxBomber — December 17, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  44. Depending on where EE plays, the Jays either have no one suitable to 1B or no one suitable to DH. Either way, they could really stand to pick up a suitable bat.

    Comment by Brian — December 18, 2012 @ 5:01 am

  45. Dude, Dickey is a legit ace. He didn’t just have a great year. He actually got better by pitching differently. And he’s awesome in a dome.

    Comment by ZenMadman — December 18, 2012 @ 6:01 am

  46. Yeah, 4 catchers were actually involved in the deal. Nickeas was sent to Toronto.

    Comment by ZenMadman — December 18, 2012 @ 6:01 am

  47. I would refer to Nickeas as an elite non-prospect, not a non-elite prospect. i.e he is elite at not being a prospect.

    Comment by ZenMadman — December 18, 2012 @ 6:07 am

  48. ‘Atta boy!

    Comment by Pedant — December 18, 2012 @ 9:04 am

  49. Thanks Brian, that was my whole point. At this point Lind will probably be given a shot and he did have a decent run last year after a stint in the minors but I’m not sold on him.

    Comment by Geoff — December 18, 2012 @ 10:45 am

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