By now you’ve all made the rounds and got everybody’s take on Sandy Alderson’s interview with Mike Francesa yesterday. You know the one right? It was the interview that was the exact opposite of the first interview he did with Francesa back in October. Remember that one? The one where the Mets were going to be transformed into a contender for 2013 and fans were going to see so many significant changes that we wouldn’t be able to recognize the new team from the one that we ended the 2012 season with? Are we clear now? Okay, good, let’s move on.
I had this pretty long-winded post I worked on most of last night, but it was too long so I decided to break it up into a few parts. This first part is about the incredible back-story behind the R.A. Dickey trade. Fasten your seat belts.
Alderson: Well, I’ll tell you what’s interesting, Mike. We had been talking to two or three teams about R.A. Dickey, and we had an interest in a couple players from one team and we were prepared to make a trade to that team for those two players. After we made the deal with Toronto, we got a call from that team — they wouldn’t give us the two players for R.A., but they called us and said, “We’ll give you the two players for Travis d’Arnaud. Straight up.”
Francesa: Really? Interesting.
Alderson: Now at that point everyone had fallen in love with Travis, so we weren’t going to do that. And we’d fallen in love with the guy too.
Francesa: So you turned down those two players you wanted for Dickey, for d’Arnaud once you got him.
Alderson:Yeah, so we could have ended up with those two players plus all the other players we got from Toronto, but that’s not how we plotted it out.
Now let me get this straight… If memory serves me right, the only other team that we were in serious discussions with for R.A. Dickey at the time besides the Toronto, was the Texas Rangers. In fact the rumors had the Mets switching back and forth between both teams for what was a hectic 3-4 day period.
It was also widely reported that the key player the Mets wanted was 24 year-old corner infielder/outfielder Michael Olt, one of the premier power prospects in the minors. The right-handed slugger batted .282/.398/.521 with a league leading 28 home runs, 82 RBI and .977 OPS in 92 games for Double-A Frisco. The Rangers were convinced he was ready and promoted him from Double-A to the majors.
It was actually Ken Davidoff who first reported that it was the Mets who offered Dickey to the Rangers for a rich package that included prized prospect Mike Olt and another prospect. Later that day it was speculated that Mets also wanted either left-hander Martin Perez or right-hander Justin Grimm, but that was never confirmed. However it would of made perfect sense. About a day later the Rangers declined, the Mets moved onto Toronto, and soon after Dickey was packing his bags for Canada, eh.
So according to this story, right after the deal for Dickey was completed, Rangers GM Jon Daniels called Sandy Alderson back and then offered him the same exact package he initially refused for just Travis d’Arnaud alone?
In other words the Rangers #1 prospect Michael Olt plus one of their top pitching prospects Perez ranked #3 or Grimm ranked #4 for Travis d’Arnaud who was coming back from a season ending injury, his second season-ender in three years?
So if I’m getting all of this straight, the final haul for R.A. Dickey could have been:
- Top ranked power-hitting outfield prospect, Michael Olt
- Toronto’s top pitching prospect, Noah Syndergaard
- Rangers’ top pitching prospect LHP Martin Perez or RHP Justin Grimm
- Veteran major league catcher John Buck
- Promising outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra
And we said NO…
Wow… Of all the crazy things Sandy has told us over the years, I think this yarn may be the most astonishing tale of them all.
Thanks to Amazin Avenue for transcribing the interview part…
I’ll be back later to discuss what Sandy had to say about his Mets offseason outfield plans back in in October, and what he had to say about his ragtag outfield yesterday. Riveting stuff…