Sources: Jays, Mets discussing Dickey

Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports
Sat Dec 15, 5:31 PM UTC

The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto, according to major league sources.

The Mets have been working on parallel tracks with Dickey for weeks, negotiating a contract extension with him while also holding trade discussions. In recent days it became apparent that the Mets had received at least one acceptable trade offer.

While the names in the trade are not finalized, outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal to New York. The Mets also are expected to acquire a catcher, either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud. The rebuilding Mets are said to prefer d’Arnaud because he would come at a lower salary with more years of control than Arencibia.

One source familiar with the talks said d’Arnaud was very much in play as of Friday night. In order to surrender such a coveted prospect, the Blue Jays have sought to expand the deal and involve more players than just Dickey, Gose and d’Arnaud. Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos took the same approach last month when the Miami Marlins requested top Blue Jays prospects in trade talks; a 12-player trade was the end result.

While it’s not clear whether the Blue Jays have been granted a window to discuss a contract extension with Dickey as a condition of the trade, his desire to be signed through 2015 is well known. Dickey’s current contract expires at the end of the coming season. He's believed to be seeking a two-year contract extension in the range of $25 million. The Blue Jays are undoubtedly aware of that price tag; as long as they are comfortable with meeting it they may not think the negotiating window is necessary.

Dickey, 38, became the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award, after going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in a league-leading 233 2/3 innings this season. Dickey is more than a one-year wonder, averaging 205 2/3 innings with a 2.95 ERA over the past three seasons. Despite his advanced baseball age, he’s actually a good bet to stay healthy. He has no ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow; injuries to that ligament are the cause of Tommy John surgeries in many other pitchers.

The Blue Jays have continued to seek starting pitching even after acquiring Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from the Miami Marlins in last month’s blockbuster trade. The addition of Dickey would allow the Blue Jays to move left-hander J.A. Happ to the bullpen. Happ’s presence there will be essential if veteran lefty Darren Oliver decides to retire rather than pitch in 2013.

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