Though R.A. Dickey’s short start yesterday in a hugely important Game 4 of the ALCS led to quite a bit of negativity among Blue Jays fans, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star opines that his $12MM club option for the 2016 season should still be exercised. Griffin points out that while the reactionary conclusion is to say the team should cut ties with the knuckeballer, that’s irrational. Dickey leads all Major League pitchers in innings dating back to 2012, and he was outstanding in the season’s second half, working to a 2.80 ERA over his final 15 starts. Dickey, in fact, logged a 3.11 ERA across his final 150 1/3 innings, dating back to June 2. Though his strikeout rate in that time (5.5 K/9) leaves plenty to be desired, he also averaged just 2.3 walks per nine innings. Two hundred league-average (or better) innings would be worth the $12MM total of his option, which really boils down to an $11MM decision, since the Jays have to pay him a $1MM buyout even if they’re cutting ties. At one year and $11MM, the Jays should keep Dickey around, especially with David Price, Marco Estrada and Mark Buehrle all potentially departing this winter as free agents.
More from the AL East…
- Rich Dubroff of CSNMidAtlantic.com feels that while the Orioles have a good deal of needs this offseason with several key free agents possibly departing and holes to plug in the rotation and bullpen, a long-term deal with second baseman Jonathan Schoop should still be on the team’s to-do list. As Dubroff points out, Schoop made offensive strides from a dismal 2014 campaign to 2015. Long one of the organization’s best prospects, Schoop batted .279/.306/.482, and while his plate discipline leaves plenty to be desired, he has quite a bit of pop for a middle infielder. I’ll add that while defensive metrics dinged Schoop this season after loving his glovework in 2014, he also missed nearly three months with a partially torn ligament in his knee, which likely hampered his range.
- Sticking with the Orioles, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com tweets that the entire coaching staff will return for the 2016 season. Kubatko had previously written that all coaches other than pitching coach Dave Wallace were on board, but he’s now apparently agreed to terms as well.
- Roberto Osuna has been outstanding this year for the Blue Jays at just 20 years of age, but as Chris Mitchell writes for Fangraphs, it’s far from certain that he’ll build upon that early success. Relievers tend to decline more rapidly than do starters, and many other quality young arms have fizzled out early. There are some more promising examples, as pitchers like Huston Street and Jonathan Broxton have had fairly long and productive careers, and some in-progress careers (such as Drew Storen) that probably can’t yet be evaluated. But the overall historical record isn’t terribly promising. Of course, the comparison sample is small given Osuna’s remarkably young age, and he might well end up back in the rotation before long anyway.