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Why the Red Sox Should Steer Clear of the Mets’ R.A Dickey

Will R.A Dickey be in a Red Sox uniform in 2013? (Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox have made their presence known in the Winter Meetings with the aggressive signings of Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, plugging the team’s holes at first base and right field. But the Red Sox still need to fill their biggest need: signing or trading for a starting pitcher.

With several options out in the market, the Red Sox have explored the possibility of trading for R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets. Even though the Red Sox have interest in the Cy Young winner, there are a number of reasons why the Red Sox should pass on Dickey and explore other alternatives.

1) Mets are asking way too much

After winning the Cy Young following a stellar 20-win season, it is reasonable to see why the Mets would want a large haul in return for Dickey. With the Red Sox gauging interest in Dickey, the Mets asked for top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr. Since this is the asking price to obtain Dickey, Boston should have backed away instantly. Within the Red Sox farm system, Bogaerts, Bradley, and Barnes are the most promising players for the Sox in the future. To trade away two of the best prospects in the farm system for Dickey isn’t worth it. Bogaerts is seen as the shortstop of the future, while Bradley seems destined to replace Jacoby Ellsbury in centerfield in a couple of years. Even if the Mets asked for just one of team’s top prospects, the answer should still be “no.” Bogaerts, Bradley, and Barnes are the central highlights in the Sox farm system now and will make a major impact once they make it to the big stage.

2) R.A Dickey is overvalued

At the age of 38, the 2012 season was a career year for Dickey. Looking into his past, he has not been as successful. Sporting a career 3.98 ERA, Dickey has struggled in the American League in particular. In the American League from 2001 to 2009, Dickey’s lowest ERA was 4.62. With the Mets, meanwhile, his highest ERA was 3.28 (2011). Dickey has found success against the weaker offenses of the National League, but when it comes to the American League, he has been far from dominant. After seeing his American League statistics, the Red Sox should not trust that Dickey could sustain Cy Young type of numbers if he is traded to them.

3) Red Sox can find better alternatives

Even with the Mets asking a lot in return for Dickey, the Red Sox still have plenty of other options to fill the rotation. It is assumed that since the Sox signed Napoli and the less heralded David Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Ryan Lavarnway will be traded in exchange for pitching. Teams that have shown interest in Saltalamacchia (seemingly the more likely trade candidate of the two) include the White Sox and the Mets. If the Red Sox do decide to pull the trigger on a trade, general manager Ben Cherington could swap Saltalamacchia for Gavin Floyd of the White Sox or Jon Niese of the Mets, a much less costly target than Dickey. Otherwise, there are still plenty of starting pitching options in the free agent market like Shawn Marcum, Francisco Liriano, and Ryan Dempster (if he decides to accept an offer from the Red Sox, that is).

It is critical for the Red Sox to fill out the rotation with a reliable pitcher. But it is just as important for the team to be smart about which starting pitcher would be the best fit for the rotation and the franchise’s long term plans. If the Red Sox were to end up trading their two best prospects for Dickey, Cherington and the front office would be in a deep hole, especially if (or when) Dickey fails to live up to expectations in Boston.

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7 comments for “Why the Red Sox Should Steer Clear of the Mets’ R.A Dickey”

  1. True story but the same goes for Ryan Dempster. He will struggle back in the AL.

    How come the GM’s don’t seem to see this? We don’t need more Brad Penny type of deals.

    Posted by Martin | December 8, 2012, 8:04 pm
  2. Hi Martin,
    Thank you for commenting.
    It is unfair to say Dempster is bad in the AL. He has only pitched 1/2 a season in the American League. Dickey has pitched a full 8 seasons in the AL.

    Posted by Tim | December 9, 2012, 1:43 am
  3. The reason why R.A. Dickey number was bad vs the AL is because that was before he rediscovered himself as a pitcher. He play for the mets so you can easily look at his inter league stats such as the subway series when he shut out yanks twice, 2 hit the rays etc he basically destroyed the AL since becoming a Met. He just developed his knuckle ball he’s basically a new pitcher and a dominate one look at his last three years?

    Posted by Mets fan looking up info | December 14, 2012, 2:24 am
  4. […] Sports of Boston believes the Red Sox should steer clear of R.A. Dickey. […]

    Posted by Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Hamilton, Shields, Choo - Unofficial Network | December 14, 2012, 2:22 pm
  5. Your logic on American League and National League is totally offbase in this circumstance. He started throwing the knuckleball at Texas and only mastered it in New York. His prior lifetime stats are based on traditional pitching, which was slowing down prior to learning the knuckle ball. That being said, and it appears you do not confuse yourself with facts, he has signed or will sign with Toronto. I doubt the Red Sox with him, were good enough to beat Toronto without him.

    Posted by David Cohen | December 17, 2012, 12:19 am
  6. Hi,
    Stand in the position of what the Mets WANTED for R.A Dickey. Even though the Jays obtained Dickey, the Mets wanted our future SS Xander Bogaerts and our future OF Jackie Bradley Jr JUST for Dickey. Do you realize how substantial Bogaerts and Bradley mean to this team in the future?Thats the reason why I wanted to stay away. Plus, Dickey is 38 years old wanting a lot of money. His lowest ERA in the AL in a full season is 4.62. Sure he had a few good stints against Yankees and Rays but just because he had 2 good outings, does not mean that he will fully dominate in the AL. It happens all the time with players. For example, Edgar Renteria. In the NL, he was dominate with the Cards/Braves/Giants. With the Tigers/Sox, he was dreadful. Some are even arguing that the Sox signing of Dempster was bad because he pitched bad in the AL. But, he only had 13 full starts in the AL. The big picture though is the Mets asking price for Dickey was way too much in which the Sox could not hand 2 of their best prospects for a 38 year old pitcher.

    Posted by Tim Felix | December 17, 2012, 2:12 pm
  7. If I was Boston I would not trade for Dickey the prospects you mentioned because the Team will not be a contender with or without him. Congratulations on signing another left handed DH to platoon in Steven Drew. (Yes he is a butcher at Shortstop).

    Your lifetime statstics mean little as he has been under 3 runs per game for the past 600 innings since developing the same pitch that permitted Wakefield to pitch late in his 40s.

    Toronto should not have given up Syndraguard, save which year do they want to go for it.

    Boston would be a much better team with Epstien GM and Francona manager. Your problem are owners who interfere too much.

    Posted by David Cohen | December 17, 2012, 2:38 pm

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