Travis D’Arnaud Rumors

National League Notes: Cedeno, Diamondbacks, Mets

Three years ago this time a memorable rumor made its way onto the pages of MLBTR, as ESPN reported the possibility of a Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols swap. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. quickly dismissed the report that the Phillies had talked internally about the idea, saying "I don't know who you're talking to, but that's a lie." It’s rare for such an exciting rumor to circulate during Spring Training, so it generated lots of discussion. Ultimately the rumors quieted down and the deal never materialized. Here are some National League notes for Friday morning…


Quick Hits: Royals, Stanton, Draft, Mets, Nationals

Earlier tonight, the Royals announced the signing of Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract. Whether or not the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training will be announced at a later date, the Royals said in a release. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweeted the addition of Tejada could make Tony Abreu or Irving Falu expendable. Dutton added Falu has options remaining while Abreu doesn't (Twitter link). As the East Coast drops the ball on 2013, let's enjoy another round of MLB news and notes: 

  • Dutton projects the Royals' payroll to be in neighborhood of $83MM and it's hard for him to see it go much higher (via Twitter). The Royals could free up some salary by moving Luke Hochevar or Bruce Chen, but Dutton doesn't sense any urgency from the club to move either one. Another possibility, although less likely, is Chris Getz (Twitter links).
  • The Mariners have contacted the Marlins about Giancarlo Stanton, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. However, one source Morosi spoke with doubts a trade will occur. 
  • Baseball America's Jim Callis has updated the 2013 amateur draft order. There are four potential compensation free agents remaining on the market (Michael BournAdam LaRocheKyle Lohse, and Rafael Soriano). If they change addresses, their former club will get a pick at the end of the first round and their new team will forfeit their top choice (unless it's one of the top 10 overall).
  • Within the same piece, Callis remains surprised the Mets were able to obtain Noah Syndergaard from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade. By adding Travis d'Arnaud and Syndergaard, which Callis projects as the Mets' second and third best prospects, the club has boosted their farm system into the top 20.
  • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post listed the Nationals posting the best record in baseball as the club's top storyline in 2012.

Alderson, Anthopoulos Discuss Dickey Trade

The Mets' trade of R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays became official earlier tonight, and general managers Sandy Alderson and Alex Anthopoulos addressed the media in a conference call (all links go to Twitter)…

  • Anthopoulos "had no idea" he would have this kind of money to spend this offseason (Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reporting).
  • Noah Syndergaard was the last player the Mets insisted on acquiring, according to Anthopoulos (Knobler reporting). By that point, Travis d'Arnaud had been on the table for more than a week.
  • Anthopoulos said that the deal was essentially agreed to by last Thursday (Knobler reporting).
  • The Blue Jays wanted Mike Nickeas in the deal in case of an injury to Josh Thole, so that they can have a backup catcher who has caught Dickey's knuckleball before (via Joel Sherman of the New York Post).
  • The Mets aren't punting 2013 and expect to acquire additional players this offseason, according to Alderson (ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reporting).
  • The Blue Jays initially expressed interest in Dickey about one week prior to the Winter Meetings (via Rubin).
  • Rubin adds that Alderson told d'Arnaud they would "see what happened" following Spring Training, and the GM also noted that d'Arnaud is very close to Major League ready.
  • Alderson stressed that this was a baseball decision rather than a financial decision, and that the team's initial preference was to sign Dickey to an extension (Rubin reporting). Sherman relays that Dickey had several contract offers that would've kept him in New York long-term.
  • Regarding the remainder of the offseason, Alderson says that the team will add a pitcher to whom they can commit a starting role (not just someone to compete with Jenrry Mejia). The team will also look to add catching depth, and is actively pursuing outfielders via free agency and trade (all links to Rubin).
  • Sherman adds that Alderson would like someone with upside similar to their deal with Chris Capuano in 2011. Sherman speculates that Francisco Liriano could match that description.
  • Anthopoulos said he would've walked away from trade negotiations had they thought Dickey's asking price was unreasonable, but they were comfortable with the numbers (via Rubin).
  • John Buck's inclusion and the Mets absorption of his salary came about because the Blue Jays were at their financial limit, according to Anthopoulos (via Rubin).


Olney On Blue Jays, Dickey, Drew, Rangers

Baseball people who have had the Blue Jays decline past trade proposals involving Travis d'Arnaud are “completely shocked” that GM Alex Anthopoulos has agreed to send the catching prospect to the Mets for R.A. Dickey, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. "He's out of his mind," an AL official said of the Blue Jays GM. Here are some more notes from around MLB, starting with Dickey…

  • One longtime agent not involved in the extension talks between the Blue Jays and the knuckleballer said a three-year extension in the $40-45MM range would be fair for both sides, Olney reports. It’d be a surprise of Dickey gets that kind of money, however. The Mets offered him an additional $20MM over two years and he sought an additional $26MM for that two-year period.
  • Rival evaluators believe this could be an extraordinary return for the Mets.
  • The A’s had interest in Stephen Drew, but didn’t want to overpay to keep him. Drew, who recently agreed to sign with the Red Sox, has declining range in the view of some rival scouts.
  • Olney wonders if the Rangers might pursue Jason Kubel if they can’t agree with Arizona on a trade involving Justin Upton. Some MLB executives wonder if the Rangers overvalue their own prospects, according to Olney.
  • Some evaluators say the Angels have an awesome offense but that their pitching staff lacks depth.

Reactions To R.A. Dickey Proposed Trade

Earlier today, the Mets agreed to trade R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays pending Toronto and the NL Cy Young award winner coming to terms on a contract extension by a Tuesday 1 p.m CST deadline. The negotiations have already begun, as have the reactions to the proposed trade.

  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson received the maximum possible return for Dickey, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio.
  • Bowden adds (via Twitter) the Blue Jays have gone from non-contenders to division favorites with their second blockbuster trade in a month, which netted them Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes.
  • The Mets are gambling Travis d'Arnaud becomes a perennial All-Star more than Dickey falls off, tweets MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
  • The timing is perfect for the Blue Jays to go all in and deal prospects, but it will take three years to see if it pans out for the Mets, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
  • In a separate tweet, Martino quotes an AL executive who says d'Arnaud is "an offensive catcher. He's OK back there. He's always been a baseball rat. Good kid."
  • A talent evaluator echoed those sentiments about d'Arnaud praising his mental toughness to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger (Twitter link).
  • A rival executive tells Newsday's Marc Carig "both sides win" with this trade adding Noah Syndergaard has an advanced feel for his three main pitches (fastball, curve, and changeup).
  • Carig also tweets the trade looks good in the long view, but he can understand why Mets fans are upset for seeing more of the same in the immediate future.
  • Dickey did himself no favors with the pointed remarks he made regarding his contract situation at the Mets' recent holiday party, writes ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin. This wasn't the first time Dickey has irked management with his outspoken views, according to Rubin citing Dickey's comments about Citi Field and its effect on David Wright before its reconfiguration.
  • While some might dismiss the Dickey acquisition, it could very well be one of the most important moves made in what has become a fascinating AL East division race because the true separator will be starting pitching, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford also analyzes the starting rotation for each AL East team.
  • For teams like the Blue Jays, this is the time to strike with blockbuster trades and free agent signings because of the weakness of the YankeesRed Sox, and Mets, opines Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

Quick Hits: Phillies, D’Arnaud, Angels, Rays

The Phillies‘ lack of big moves this offseason likely indicate that 2013 will be a transition year, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Soon after trading Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino in July, General Manager Ruben Amaro explained that the moves would allow flexibility to sign at least one major free agent, and possibly even more.  Amaro wound up making his first foray into the open market on Saturday with the signings of Mike Adams and John Lannan.  Here’s more from around baseball..

  • Some have wondered about the condition of Travis d’Arnaud’s knee, but a club source says that the Mets have looked over his medicals and they are fine, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets.  D’Arnaud is believed to be a part of the heavily rumored R.A. Dickey trade along with Noah Syndergaard.
  • The Angels are continuing their search for starting pitching and are considering filling the void with mid-level free agent pitchers rather than make trades, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • Rays manager Joe Maddon will miss James Shields for a number of reasons, but his chief problem will be making up all the innings that Shields provided, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.   Shields gave the club 30 to 40 more innings than any other starter and averaged 220 over the past six seasons.

Blue Jays Working On Trade For R.A. Dickey

After a long day of rumors on Friday, the Blue Jays and Mets are nearing a trade that would send R.A. Dickey to Toronto for top prospect Travis d'Arnaud according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Other players involved in the deal are unconfirmed. Here's the latest on the potential trade…

  • It's currently a 3-for-4 trade according to Sherman (all Twitter links). Dickey, Thole, and a prospect will go to Toronto for d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, John Buck, and a prospect. Sherman says the two unnamed prospects would not be elite guys. He adds that the framework could change since the Blue Jays will send the Mets money to help cover Buck's salary.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that Blue Jays pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez has also been discussed.
  • Rubin heard from a source that it's unclear if there will be resolution tonight (Twitter links). A Mets official indicated the same to Puma, saying "there is a lot to this."

Earlier Updates:

  • As of this morning, the deal had four players coming to the Mets and three to the Blue Jays, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). Toronto also wants a catcher back in the deal, and that could be Josh Thole. The Mets have discussed getting pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in the deal as well, Puma tweets.
  • The two teams are inching towards the finish line, a source tells Passan (via Twitter). At least some players' medicals have been reviewed and a deal is imminent.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the two sides have agreed that d'Arnaud can be the centerpiece of the trade after the Mets rejected a Gose/J.P. Arencibia package (all Twitter links). Once they finalize the rest of the players involved, it's believed Dickey will talk about an extension with Toronto.
  • Sherman reports (on Twitter) that Gose is not part of the trade talks for Dickey. The Blue Jays are building a package around d'Arnaud.
  • Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays need to sign Dickey to an extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets if they're going to include d'Arnaud and Gose in the trade.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) the two sides are still working through matters are there is confidence the deal will get done.
  • Dickey has not yet engaged the Blue Jays in contract extension talks, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. He also has yet to be asked to take a physical.
  • The Blue Jays are willing to include d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose in the trade according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). Any other names remain unconfirmed.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays have been reviewing Dickey's medicals since yesterday afternoon.

Blue Jays, Mets Close To R.A. Dickey Trade

All signs point to the Mets trading R.A. Dickey, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The sides aren't progressing toward an extension, and Dickey's one-year, $5MM salary seems quite appealing to teams seeking pitching. Here are today's Dickey rumors, with the most recent items up top…

  • The Blue Jays and Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The names in the trade aren't finalized, but outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal.  The Mets also are expected to acquire either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud.  However, the Blue Jays are looking to get more out of the deal if they surrender d'Arnaud.
  • D'Arnaud is very much in play in the talks, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The deal would be bigger, however, with multiple pieces going both ways.

Earlier updates:

  • The Mets may be landing d'Arnaud in the deal, Heyman tweets.
  • Travis d'Arnaud was a "must have" during the winter meetings for a deal with the Blue Jays to happen, sources tell Andy Martino of the Daily News (via Twitter).
  • Two sources involved in the talks say not to expect any resolution with Dickey tonight, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
  • The Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a potential deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). They aren't in agreement at this point.
  • It looks like the Mets have a good offer from the Blue Jays, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports (on Twitter). The Mets still appear to be talking to the Angels and Orioles.
  • A high-ranking executive of a team that pursued Dickey believes the knuckleballer is being traded to Toronto, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels said on MLB Network Radio that if Dickey is being traded it's not to Texas, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link, audio here). Daniels acknowledged that he had some dialogue about Dickey.
  • The Blue Jays are growing confident they will acquire Dickey, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the FAN would characterize the Blue Jays as "hopeful" (Twitter link).
  • The Mets were interested in Buckel, though he wasn't necessarily being offered, Martino clarifies (on Twitter).

(more…)


R.A. Dickey Rumors: Wednesday

Dollars, rather than years, are holding up extension talks between the Mets and R.A. Dickey, as we heard yesterday. That divide could make a trade more likely, though New York is still weighing its options.  The team left the Winter Meetings without a resolution. Here are Wednesday’s Dickey-related rumors, with new updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • The Blue Jays and the Rangers are involved in the talks for Dickey, Heyman tweets.  Toronto is thought to be unlikely to part with Travis D’Arnaud but may be willing to trade Anthony Gose.
  • The Rangers like Dickey but the Mets’ prospect request at this point is too rich for them, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
  • “I think the Mets are going to sign him,” an executive with a club that has tried to trade for Dickey told Jon Paul Morosi.
  • The Mets talked to the Yankees and Nationals (prior to their Dan Haren signing) this week about Dickey, tweets Andy Martino, but the Yankees don’t have the pieces and GM Sandy Alderson wouldn’t trade within the division.
  • The Mets are hoping for the Rangers in the Dickey trade talks, tweets Jon Heyman.

Earlier updates:

  • Dickey’s asking price appears to be two years and $26MM in addition to his $5MM salary for 2013, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Mets officials have told Martino that they’re sitting on at least one “acceptable” trade offer, but Martino reports that Alderson would like to keep the knuckleballer.
  • Although Dickey was at the Winter Meetings, he only went to congratulate David Wright on his new contract, and left without negotiating with the Mets, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. His situation remains in limbo.
  • The Mets are sitting on a number of potential trades for Dickey, tweets David Lennon of Newsday. He says that if a team caves and adds a necessary piece, a deal could be done quickly.  The Mets are also working on a trade for an outfielder that does not involve Dickey.
  • Dickey is seeking a two-year deal worth roughly $30MM, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, while the Mets are around two years and $20MM.
  • GM Sandy Alderson now believes the most likely scenario involves the Mets keeping Dickey without an extension, tweets Bob Nightengale of the USA Today. However, that’s not the team’s preferred option.
  • Speaking to the media, Jeff Wilpon reiterated that Dickey could return to the Mets for 2013 without an extension, and made that option sound more realistic than a trade, according to ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin (Twitter link).
  • Dickey himself told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM that he feels like he and the Mets are “inching toward” an extension (Twitter link). The knuckleballer also spoke to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, repeating that he’s “hopeful” about a deal with the Mets, but understands that it’s Sandy Alderson’s job to make the Mets better (Twitter link).
  • The Mets know they can sign Dickey to a two-year extension worth about $13MM annually, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. However, the team doesn’t appear willing to go quite that high yet.
  • If no trade or extension is worked out, the Mets have the “safety net” of having Dickey on an affordable deal in 2013, with the opportunity to trade or extend him later, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Although GM Sandy Alderson hasn’t indicated when the team would move on from trade and extension talks if no deal can be reached, one Mets official hinted to Sherman that it could happen between next week and Christmas.
  • Mets officials suggest the chances of Dickey remaining a Met are in the 55-45 range, says Sherman. The Mets’ asking price remains high, as one rival executive tells Sherman: “Any team would take Dickey. But this is not Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee being traded. I would take him, but for top prospects, no.”

Silverman’s Latest: Greinke, Royals, Rays, Blue Jays

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald that he was unsure if he'd be able to acquire Miguel Cabrera (and Dontrelle Willis) in 2007. “A lot of clubs were involved and I didn’t think it was going to work for us for where we were financially,” said Dombrowski. “Once we sat down with the Marlins, it took us just a day to work out that deal. It happened very fast.”

Here are Silverman's rumors…