As the days leading up to the announcement of the 2012 Cy Young Award dwindle down, there could still be some doubt pertaining to the winner. However, New York Mets SP R.A. Dickey seems to be one step closer to clinching victory after the MLB Players Association named him the NL Outstanding Pitcher.
In 2012 Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 230 strikeouts. The 37-year old knuckle-baller posted these outstanding numbers with an abdominal muscle that he tore in April, and he sustained that injury throughout the entirety of the season.
In a previous post I gave my opinion on the pitchers I believed were most likely to give Dickey a serious run for the Cy Young. Among those were Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, Cincinnati Reds SP Johnny Cueto and Washington Nationals SP Gio Gonzales. Another dangerous contender that can’t be overlooked is the returning Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That being said, the award favorite for a few months has been Dickey. The recent OP honors can only help his chances. It makes complete sense that 4 of the last 5 NL Outstanding Pitchers have gone on to win the Cy Young. The players know how to pick ’em.
The announcement of the NL Outstanding Pitching definitely sheds light on the looming contract negotiations going on between the Mets and their ace. Starting pitching isn’t necessarily a strong concern for New York with pitchers like Johan Santana, Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee.
The area they seem to be most deficient in is the outfield. They have a sub-par four man rotation at best with no real stand out offensive or defensive player. Also, they need to find somebody to put in that lineup that can pick up extra bases. In 2012, the Mets were dead last in that category. In general it is an explosive offense that New York needs so desperately. I believe that much is obvious, but what I am about to suggest next might not be.
In light of the NL OP and a possible Cy Young award, a large majority of Mets fans may be strongly opposed to trading R.A. Dickey this off season. Yet, not many can argue that there are a few ways New York could build a much stronger team with the money they would be giving to Dickey for an extension. It is also nearly pointless to exercise his $5 million option for 2013.
The Mets would be a more balanced team with what they could gain from trading Dickey. However unpleasant that is to say, it is a truly objective look at the situation. If Dickey does turn out to bring the hardware home on Nov. 14, the Mets organization would be hard-pressed indeed. After all, how many Cy Young winners have found themselves playing in a different uniform the next year because that team decided to go in a different direction? I don’t believe that number is too high.
R.A. Dickey should take home the Cy Young Award next Wednesday and the New York Mets should trade him for an outfielder or two. That being said, I believe only the former will happen. The latter seems like too much of a bold move from a Mets organization that is clearly hurting.