There is a chance the Blue Jays are open to trading starter R.A. Dickey this off-season, according to Sportsnet.ca's Jeff Blair. Blair noted a Dickey trade was possible after Toronto acquired Drew Storen from the Nationals on Friday night.
Not sure the lads are done. Scout tells me Dickey in play.— Jeff Blair (@SNJeffBlair) January 9, 2016
Why this rumor makes sense
Toronto has already added a pair of starting pitchers in J.A. Happ and Jesse Chavez this off-season and now has six starters on its roster. Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison, Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada could all also serve as starters, leaving the Blue Jays with an extra arm.
Sanchez is a candidate to earn a rotation spot this spring, and the Blue Jays have been hesitant to have him pitch out of the bullpen as a long reliever.
Dickey's $12 million option for 2016 was exercised by the Blue Jays after the season, but the organization does have several other reasonably priced starters it can turn to if Dickey is moved.
If Dickey is traded, the Blue Jays would be able to add depth by acquiring pieces in a trade or moving Dickey's salary and using that money to upgrade elsewhere. The rotation situation would also be less complex, and the club would be able to monitor the Sanchez situation carefully.
Why this rumor does not make sense
Although Dickey is not necessarily an ace, he has still proven to be one of the more productive starters in the American League. Last season with Toronto, Dickey pitched to a 3.91 ERA and 4.48 FIP over 214.1 innings. He has made at least 30 starts in each of the last five seasons and will likely prove to be more productive than the alternatives the Blue Jays might consider.
Even at 41, Dickey is valuable as a knuckleball pitcher. He has had success in Toronto the last three seasons, and since the organization exercised his option for 2016, Dickey was likely at least thought to be in the club's plans for next season.
Dickey has thrown over 200 innings in each of the last six seasons and keeping him would likely make Toronto's rotation more effective.
Likeliness overall: 6/10
Toronto has a notable amount of starting pitching depth. Dickey is effective but a trade is likely in the coming weeks.