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Blue Jays up ante in negotiations for Mets' R.A. Dickey

Jeff Passan
Yahoo Sports
 R.A. Dickey appears headed to Toronto. (Reuters)

R.A. Dickey appears headed to Toronto. (Reuters)

The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are nearing a deal that would send reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package that includes top prospect Travis d'Arnaud, a source close to the negotiations told Yahoo! Sports early Saturday.

As the Mets finalized their shopping of Dickey and appeared to settle on the Blue Jays late Friday, the proposed deal grew in size upon Toronto's willingness to include d'Arnaud, the game's best catching prospect. While the other players involved could not be confirmed, the source said the teams were in the process of exchanging medical information on the players involved.

The trade would mark the second blockbuster of the offseason for Toronto, which acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck in a fire-sale deal with the Miami Marlins. It transformed the Blue Jays from a middling American League East team into a contender. The acquisition of Dickey would cement their status as favorite in the division, and maybe the whole league.

[Related: Winners and losers from Josh Hamilton trade]

Toronto's willingness to give up a prospect of d'Arnaud's caliber – a Foxsports.com report also said outfield prospect Anthony Gose was likely to be included in the deal – hinged on the growth of the trade to include other players as well as the possibility of Dickey signing a contract extension. The Mets and Dickey had worked for months trying to hammer out a deal, with the 38-year-old Dickey seeking two years and $26 million and the Mets edging their way up to two years and $20 million. Dickey is signed this season for a bargain $5 million.

The knuckleballer went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and threw a league-high 233 2/3 innings for the woebegone Mets, whose financial troubles have led to a rebuild under general manager Sandy Alderson. Getting D'Arnaud would be a coup for Alderson, who seeks up-the-middle talent to go along with a young pitching staff that, with Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese and Zack Wheeler should provide a better future than present.

Toronto, on the other hand, looks eminently dangerous this year, adding Dickey to a rotation that includes Johnson, Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero. Reyes and Bonifacio add to a lineup that already boasts Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and offseason acquisition Melky Cabrera.

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