Now that John Buck is off to one of the hottest starts in baseball (.393, four homers, NL leading 14 RBIs), the Mets are going out of their way to insist that the Blue Jays did not foist him upon them in the R.A. Dickey trade. Rather, the Mets wanted Buck all along. Don’t believe a word of it.
After the trade was made, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos said he demanded that the Mets take Buck because the Jays did want to take on any more salary, and Buck and Dickey were both set to make around $6 million in 2013. At the time, the Mets did not dispute this.
But now they are singing a different tune. Sandy Alderson sent assistant GM John Ricco out to lie for him this time instead of doing it himself. Ricco told ESPNNewYork.com that since the Blue Jays wanted Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to catch Dickey’s knuckleball (yet they are both in the minors now, so go figure), the Mets decided they should get a catcher back as well.
“Sandy did most of the negotiations on how that all played out, but Buck was in the discussion pretty much from the beginning on the catching level and on the dollars level, because I think they mentioned pretty early on that they would have to move some of his money, if not all of it.”
Ricco goes on to admit that they could have signed a free agent catcher for less money than they are paying Buck, who was “as good as the guys we were looking at.”
So the penny-pinching Mets want us to believe that they took on John Buck, who hit .192 last season, because they really wanted him, not because Toronto insisted? You don’t think the Mets would have preferred to sign a free agent for a million dollars and save five million bucks, knowing full well that whoever was catching was just a placeholder for Travis d’Arnaud?
Do the Mets think we’re dumb? They took John Buck and his salary because it was a requirement to get the deal done. Why can’t they just admit it?