R.A. Dickey while the Blue Jays were in town. I know he wasn't scheduled to pitch—that's kind of irrelevant. Given how the Mets fans and Dickey shared such a mutual affection for each other during his time here, that was the least they could do. We got to see plenty of Jose Reyes, sure, but it's easier to get a glimpse of an everyday player.
Dickey didn't make an appearance against the Mets until the final game of this 4-game home-and-homestand against our friends to the North, and matched up against Bartolo Colon, Dickey sort of gave us a glimpse of what we'd used to root for, as he pitched into the 8th inning, allowing 1 run and 3 hits in another Blue Jays blowout victory, thus ensuring the Mets would go 0-for-Toronto.
I hesitate, however, to say that this is what the Mets have been missing by having traded Dickey away. I know that several Mets fans, and some clueless non-Baseball-following cretins that were won over by Dickey's Pop Appeal ripped the Mets for the trade, but let's consider all that's happened since that deal was made (particularly since there's nothing good to say about the game he just pitched against the Mets).
R.A. Dickey has pitched reasonably well for the Blue Jays, but he hasn't matched the success he had with the Mets. After going 39-28 with a 2.95 ERA and the 2012 Cy Young Award for the Mets, he's since gone 31-32 with a 4.13 ERA with the Blue Jays. No Cy Young award, but he did win a Gold Glove in 2013.
In 2+ seasons with the Blue Jays, Josh Thole has yet to play a full season's worth of games with the team. He has managed only 111 games and 279 At Bats, hitting a paltry .219 with 1 Home Run and 17 RBIs. I don't know if he's even in the Major Leagues and I can't say I care. But I'm quite certain he has continued to spend most of his time perfecting the art of grounding out to 2nd Base. Thole, however, has done much better for himself than Mike Nickeas, the other piece the Mets dealt. Since 2012, Nickeas played in 1 Major League game, on September 10, 2013. He caught one inning in a blowout loss and did not come to bat. After spending all of 2014 in the Minor Leagues, Nickeas then retired altogether.
The Mets, by comparison, turned Dickey and the two Catchers into Travis d'Arnaud, who's battled injuries and inconsistencies but when he's played, he's been rather good, and John Buck, who did a fine job for half a season before getting flipped to Pittsburgh. For Buck's services, the Mets now have Dilson Herrera and Vic Black, even if Black has yet to get his act together and pitch like he means it. Additionally, the Mets now boast Noah Syndergaard, who came with the hype of a front-line starter and although to this point he's pitched like the 22-year old Rookie he is, he's also shown signs that the billing wasn't just hype.
It's safe to say that the Mets probably would never have gotten this kind of a return on Dickey at any point other than the offseason of 2012-13. The trade was so necessary to make it's not even funny anymore. And, sure, he came back and beat the Mets last night, and yes, we miss having someone whose literary and philosophical abilities matched the heart in which his feats were accomplished. But I said it in 2012 and it remains true: You have to give up something to get something, and at that point, Dickey was the most marketable piece the Mets had.