Nothing about the trade that sends Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey to Toronto is easy.
The deal takes young talent from the Blue Jays, but adds this year's Cy Young Award and 20-game-winner. The talent was some of the Jays best, the Jays add a veteran arm. The talent is unproven. The Cy Young winner that led the National League in strikeouts with 230, is 38.
Add to that list, the combative back-and-forth between the Mets camp (plus some media members) and Dickey, and you had no easy goodbye. Or maybe that bitterness made the goodbye all the easier.
The bottom line is, the trade everyone waited and debated on for the past few days amid heated rumors, is final. Prospects Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra, and veteran catcher John Buck.
D'Arnaud, 23, was ranked as the Jays top prospect. Both at the plate and behind it, there's always been some questions. And he's usually answered them with improvements to both. There is that nagging injury issue. An everyday catcher's time can be short in the majors, and his back problems and a knee injury (not to mention one to his thumb) have raised concerns. But reports have consistently highlighted, not only his skill, but his ability to learn quickly and turn things around.
RHP Noah Syndergaard has been impressive in his own right. The twenty-year-old is far from making an impact in the big leagues in this part of the trade. He's still a few years away, but the 2010 38th rounder had a solid first full professional season. He posted a 2.60 ERA in 27 games and struck out 122 batters in 19 starts for Class-A Lansing.
The Jays get that guy that won that award. That guy whose name is linked securely to perfecting the art of knuckleballing, and what he accomplished after turning a last-ditch-effort and minor league contract into success. But he's also linked to raising awareness of sexual abuse. In revealing that truth in his autobiography, hopefully he's encouraged others to come forward. Children look up to athletes now more than ever. His presence in that fight is meaningful.
But baseball is a business, and regardless of success on the mound and being a champion for abused children, the Mets had to make what they believed was a sound decision. Dickey wanted an extension on his contract that the Mets refused.
The Jays made an offer that rid the Mets of their problem/Cy Young Winner, and bulked up their minor league system a little more. Those prospects, d'Arnaud in particular, add a shot of solid promise to the future.
Both teams fans are being asked to believe in a lot.
Jays fans must believe that R.A. Dickey will continue the success he had last year.
Mets fans are being asked to come down from the mountaintop and hang out patiently in the peaks. That's not to be mistaken for overall success. No, the Mets haven't had much of that in a long time. But with Dickey they had a vitally important piece of their starting rotation. A valuable player that they could actually say had proven plenty. Who are these prospects in exchange for THAT guy? Odds are, Mets fans are also asking why the Mets would run Dickey out of town. Reports on the Mets front office negative feelings toward Dickey can only be categorized as conjecture. That doesn't mean reports of their feelings aren't true. They are simply unclear.
Mets fans don't want to invest time believing in two maybes when they had something much better: a definite. At least, he was to that point. Whether Dickey can sustain that success or close to it, is also unknown. Jays fans have taken to social media to voice their own worry and distrust.
In that respect, the Blue Jays and Mets are in the same boat.