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Mets build for future with catcher d'Arnaud, right Syndergaard

Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud Credit: Travis d'Arnaud (Getty Images)

R.A. Dickey's days in Queens appear to be done as the Mets sacrificed short-term success for the long-term plan.

The Mets' pitching staff takes an obvious hit by losing the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner to the Blue Jays. Johan Santana should be the opening day starter, and Jonathan Niese will likely be near the top of the rotation as long as he isn't dealt, too.

Rookie Matt Harvey has earned a spot on the staff after a superb September. Dillon Gee, Jenrry Mejia and Collin McHugh will be in the mix for the other two spots. Highly touted prospect Zack Wheeler could join the majors as a starter by the summer.

The big prize coming to the Mets is catcher Travis d'Arnaud, widely viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball. The Mets have been searching for a catcher since Mike Piazza left in 2005, and they're certainly hoping he's the answer.

In 67 games with Triple-A Las Vegas last season, the 23-year-old d'Arnaud hit .333 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs. A torn PCL in his left knee in June ended his season early, but he could be ready for spring training.

Whether d'Arnaud is ready for the majors or not, the Mets will have a new everyday catcher after bringing in John Buck for Josh Thole in the Dickey deal. Buck was an All-Star for Toronto in 2010, but was a disappointment with the Marlins during the past two seasons (.213 average, 218 strikeouts in 246 games). The Blue Jays had reacquired Buck earlier this offseason.

Pitcher Noah Syndergaard, the other relevant prospect the Mets acquired in the deal, was a first-round pick in 2010. The 20-year-old righthander went 8-5 with a 2.60 ERA with Class-A Lansing last season and figures to be a few years away from the majors.

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