The Mets cannot seem to stand good publicity. After doing the right thing and locking up David Wright with a contract extension, they have apparently decided to go the opposite route with R.A. Dickey and trade him. The sticking point in these negotiations is apparently Dickey’s desire for a two-year extension worth approximately $13 million a year. The Mets are only comfortable paying $10 million. So, for the grand total of $6 million—less than they owe Bobby Frickin' Bonilla, mind you—the Mets are going to trade away the reigning Cy Young award winner.
Some will argue that if the trade with Toronto goes through, they will receive prospects in return that will enable them to compete in the future, but is that really true? Travis D’Arnaud, one of the rumored players in the trade, is a wonderful catcher, but he is also recovering from a knee injury and missed a lot of time in 2010 with bulging disks in his back. Noah Syndergaard has a high ceiling, but he is in single A ball, probably three years away from the majors.
And this doesn't even take into account the general positivity and good will Dickey has brought to the franchise, who have had it very rough in the press in recent years because of the Madoff/Wilpon debacle (not to mention a couple historic season-ending breakdowns). We're talking about a man who gave tickets away to underprivileged kids, went to candlelight vigils and Take Back the Night Marches to raise awareness for victims of sexual abuse, volunteered to help with Hurricane Sandy relief, and regularly spoke at schools in Harlem. AND he's an unabashed Tolkien aficionado , for crissakes!
And yet, there has been a hacket job done on Dickey in recent days by Mets brass behind-the-scenes, with lines like this one in the NY Post: "The Mets, meanwhile, have mounting concerns whether all of Dickey’s off-the-field endeavors could impact his on-field results or his standing in the clubhouse if the perception is that he has become too absorbed with his new celebrity." Are they talking about his off-the-field endeavors like the ones listed above? Or perhaps the fact he wrote a book about being abused as a child? Or the fact he appeared on The Daily Show and was actually charming?
So instead of keeping the best pitcher in the National League and trying to build around him, the Mets are going to act like a small market team and trade away a star for hope of a better future. It’s similar to what they did in 1977 when they traded franchise icon Tom Seaver to the Reds. So just ask yourselves: how did Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachary work out?