Patience is a virtue. That certainly applies to the patience of Mets GM, Sandy Alderson, who once again proved his critics wrong this weekend when he secured a windfall of popular prospects from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for reigning Cy Young Award winner, RA Dickey, and his personal catchers, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. In doing so, Alderson waited out both the starting pitching market and the limits of the fan base’s collective sanity, cashing Dickey in at the absolute peak of his value and in the process, pushed the Mets forward towards their ultimate goal building a core of young, promising talent.
Sandy’s man, as I’m sure you’ve heard is Travis d’Arnaud, who is widely considered the best catching prospect in all of baseball. Despite a season ending knee injury, it wouldn’t be surprising to see d’Arnaud break camp with the Mets come April, instantly bolstering the team’s roster at catcher. Hitting for both power and average, while at the same time being considered above average defensively, d’Arnaud has the potential to solidify the Mets backstop needs for the foreseeable future. If you ask most MLB General Managers, Travis d’Arnaud may have been too much to offer all by himself, but Sandy Alderson wasn’t done.
As a result, the Blue Jays’ number one pitching prospect, Noah Snydergaard, will also head south of the border and join the strong crop of young, hard throwing pitchers the Mets already have at the Single A level. Although he may not find his way to the majors until sometime during the 2015 season, Snydergaard’s inclusion in this deal is the perfect example of Sandy Alderson maximizing what he has to work with. For the second time in two years, Alderson pulled off a trade that no one thought was possible by waiting until what seems like the last possible minute to get things done.
Throw-ins on the deal also include backup catcher, John Buck, who will serve as a place holder for d’Arnaud if he isn’t ready for the start of the season, and eighteen year old Wuilma Buerra, who will look to come back from a broken jaw as a result of being struck in the face by a rogue pitch. Neither play a major factor in the balance of this deal, but they do represent just how much value Alderson was able to squeeze of our Dickey’s Cy Young season.
Like him or not, these types of deals are the reason Sandy Alderson was brought to Queens, and will be the reason he remains in Queens if he so sees fit. Hamstrung by a reduced cashflow, only now, entering his third season as team General Manager can the hints of the master play start to take shape. With two months remaining before Spring Training, his work certainly isn’t done if he hopes to field a semi-competitive team in 2013. However, regardless of how this upcoming season plays out, Sandy Alderson has put several more pieces in play for what could be a promising young team in 2014 and beyond.
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