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Orioles likely don't have the right pieces for an R.A. Dickey trade

By Dan Connolly

The Baltimore Sun

5:41 PM PST, December 14, 2012

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When it became apparent that the New York Mets were willing to deal 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, the Orioles had to be a consideration.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter loves the 38-year-old knuckleballer. Showalter, Dickey’s manager in Texas, was one of the people who told Dickey that he needed to try a different approach if he was going to make it in the majors.

Dickey, who transformed himself from conventional pitcher to knuckleball extraordinaire, is always effusive in his praise for Showalter. Plus, Dickey absolutely embarrassed the Orioles in his one start against them last June, allowing just one hit and striking out 13 in a complete-game shutout. The Orioles know how good he can be and they could use a staff anchor.

So, yes, the Orioles talked with the Mets about Dickey’s availability. But, according to one industry source, the sides decided there wasn’t really a fit.

The Mets want to improve in the outfield and at catcher, and they're looking for young players at those positions. Frankly, the Orioles’ system is shallow in both areas. They have no real catching prospects, and their young outfielders are not considered every day players at this stage.

The Orioles do have one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in Dylan Bundy, but they told the Mets they have no interest in dealing him. And, so, there’s just no match. According to various reports, if Dickey is dealt, the Toronto Blue Jays may be the most likely suitor.

That’ll have to be OK with the Orioles because, no matter how much they would like to obtain an ace, their primary focus is adding a power bat, and they need to use whatever trade chips they have for that.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com