R.A. Dickey is on the Toronto Blue Jays. That might be the most complicated sentence a Mets fan has had to read since Bobby Bonilla threatened to show Bob Klapisch "the Bronx" in 1993. (Wouldn't Bob Klapisch know where the Bronx is? Confusing!)
To update: The Mets traded Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to Toronto on Monday for Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, John Buck and Wulimer Becerra. Dickey signed a two-year extension with Toronto, which includes a $12 million option for 2016, when Dickey will be 41.
As a baseball trade, the move Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made here is basically unimpeachable. Dickey was the National League Cy Young winner this year, which should immediately make you ask: Where does he go from there? Was Dickey, who turned in two very solid seasons with the Mets prior to 2012, going to get better at age 38? Probably not. To paraphrase Marcellus Wallace, baseball is filled with players "who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don't."
Another factor: The Mets stink. It's tough to write that as a Mets fan, but they do. With Dickey, the team finished in fourth place in 2012. Without Dickey, they can probably still finish in fourth place in 2013, especially since the Miami Marlins front office traded every player that wasn't nailed to the floor (sorry, Ricky Nolasco). Before the trade was official on Monday, ESPN numbers dork Jayson Stark tweeted that the Mets played like a 93-win team when Dickey pitched, but a 73-win team when he didn't. Considering the Mets only averaged 76 wins over Dickey's three years with the team, perhaps he didn't have that much of an impact on the field as you might expect.
Where he did have an impact, and where this trade hurts to the very core, is off the field. Baseball players are basically robots at this point: They don't have personalities, and if they do, they're usually cold, calculating and altogether inhuman. Dickey was different. He loves "Star Wars." He loves books. He loves the fans. He loves children. As a fan, he's everything you'd want to root for and more. No wonder the Mets marketing team rode him like a thoroughbred horse at the end of the 2012 season, when the stadium vendors outnumbered the fans at CitiField; people loved seeing Dickey just being Dickey. The rise of No. 43 made Mets fans proud. The only thing I can compare it to is Mike Piazza's 8th inning home run off Steve Karsay on Sept. 21, 2001 -- except spread out over three years.
That's what makes this so difficult: R.A. Dickey creates a classic example of head versus heart. I know trading Dickey is the best move for the Mets to make. If only it didn't leave me heartbroken.