After weeks of strained negotiations that seem completely unnecessary, the New York Mets, for reasons that only the hapless Mets can comprehend, have been unable to come to an agreement on a contract with Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey.
But where are the Pittsburgh Pirates in all of these discussions?
Sure the Pirates have been below .500 for literally twenty years, but with a strong nucleus of young players and a nice collection of competent starting pitchers, they aren’t as far off from being competitive as most believe. In their rotation, adding Dickey would allow A.J. Burnett to drop down to the number two spot where he belongs, Wandy Rodriguez to be the third starter he should be, and James MacDonald to be a,one the games best number four starters.
In addition to being an ace away from contention in the NL Central, the Pirates also have plenty of prospects to deal to the Pirates.
Unlike the Blue Jays who are trying to work with a depleted farm system after their blockbuster earlier this winter, the Pirates have a system budding with talented young players. While Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are too high of a price to pay for a 38-year-old, no matter of his Cy Young resume, the Pirates have other prospects like Alen Hanson or Gregory Polanco who could interest the Mets.
Any prospects the Pirates gave up would likely be a steep price to pay, but the Pirates have a nucleus of young hitters entering their prime and are in need of a true ace. Dickey is one of the only aces in baseball who fits the Pirates payroll.
Acquiring him would require a significant price in terms of prospects, but if it means making the Pirates legitimately competitive for the first time in a generation, it would be worth the price.