TORONTO -- The Blue Jays reportedly are a favorite to land 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey from the Mets.
The two sides have engaged in talks that could provide yet another upgrade to the Toronto's starting rotation. As per team policy, the Blue Jays have yet to comment on the rumor.
The New York Post reported Saturday night that the framework of the deal would see Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and a Minor Leaguer head to the Blue Jays. Going to New York would be top prospect Travis d'Arnaud, right-hander Noah Syndergaard, veteran catcher John Buck and another unidentified player.
Other suitors for Dickey originally included the Rangers and Angels. But MLB.com reported Friday afternoon that Texas was no longer in the running, while Los Angeles had been reluctant to part with slugger Mark Trumbo and center fielder Peter Bourjos wasn't expected to be enough to entice the Mets.
"We're looking for more of a premium-type guy in exchange for the Cy Young," one Mets insider told MLB.com.
It's possible that "premium-type guy" could end up being d'Arnaud. The trade talks carried over into Saturday with no official agreement in place and, at least for now, the negotiations and rumors will continue to linger.
The acquisition of Dickey would continue a complete rebranding of the Blue Jays this offseason. Toronto, which is coming off a disappointing 73-89 season, made it a top priority to acquire at least a pair of starting pitchers in order to become relevant in the American League East for the first time since 1993.
Dickey arguably is the top pitcher available via trade this offseason. He went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA while striking out 230 in 233 2/3 innings this past season while posting an impressive 1.05 WHIP. He is set to earn $5 million next season and will be eligible for free agency at the end of the year.
New York engaged Dickey in negotiations about an extension, but the two sides have been unable to find common ground. Dickey reportedly was seeking an additional two seasons and approximately $26 million -- essentially making it a three-year deal worth a total of $31 million -- but New York balked at the overall asking price.
It's not immediately known whether the Blue Jays would look to extend Dickey's contract, but it's expected they would at least be open to the idea. Josh Johnson also is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2013 season and the club would want to avoid losing both pitchers via the open market.
Toronto and New York would appear to be a good match on multiple levels. The Mets have been in the market for a new catcher and center fielder, while the Blue Jays have some depth to spare at both positions.
The Blue Jays have both Gose and Colby Rasmus as options in center field along with Arencibia, d'Arnaud and veteran John Buck behind the plate.