Another big trade involving the Toronto Blue Jays and a National League East team, this time the New York Mets.
Now, the trade itself is not really news. The big names in the trade – Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Josh Buck going to New York and R.A Dickey and Josh Thole going to Toronto have been known since last Friday, but now the deal is official as is Dickey’s contract extension that will see him paid $30 million for 2013, 2014 and 2015 with a $12 million option for 2016. Mike Nickeas is also going to Toronto and 18-year-old Wuilmer Becerra, a fringe prospect, going to New York to complete the deal.
More good prospects are being divided among the teams expected to be at the bottom of the division as they are gearing up for their next big run. This is good news for the Nationals as the more they can beat the Mets and the Miami Marlins, the better their chances to secure at the worst a second Wild Card spot. But it also gives the Nationals a sense of urgency. With the Mets and Marlins gearing up, and the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves never really in a down period, the Nationals have pressure to not only win now, not only develop the prospects in their system now but to make sure they don’t fall behind.
Now, of course, prospects are never a sure thing and the Mets know this better than most teams as the package they sent to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana ended up being a bunch of prospects who never lived up to their potential. d’Arnaud has already been traded twice (he was previously involved in the trade from Philadelphia to Toronto for Roy Halladay) and Syndergaard is still several years away, so neither are sure things the way people look at Wil Myers, for instance (who also is not a sure thing).
However, it is a pretty decent package for a team that had a Cy Young winner at its disposal and a team in Toronto desperate enough to gear up for a run in a year where the entire American League East looks set for a down year.
The NL East now looks even more like a three-team race unless the Mets or Marlins pull off a season even the makers of Major League would think was unbelievable.