Notice is served.
There's so much excellent commentary out there that a lot of this is simply going to be a paraphrase of things you've heard others say and I acknowledge that but they are consistent with my own thinking so when I happen to parallel an already expressed view so be it.
And also, they are sort of random thoughts because, as usual, I'm reacting to the reaction since I am not a breaker of news.
First, the contract. given the cost in dollars of landing a legitimate #1 pitcher (and a Cy winner has to be considered such until it's demonstrated on the mound he's not) from outside your organization in today's market, the $24 million the Jays will pay Dickey in the extension over two years (or $36 mil in three) is an insanely good deal. Getting to pay him less than John Buck is going to make in 2013 just takes you into LSD trip fantasy land.
Second, the price in prospects. Look, the Brewers gave up a better prospect than d'Arnaudto get Saun Marcum. No one really blinked. The Royals gave up a very similar package (assuming you think Syndergaard is enough better than Ororizzi to make up forthe deficit between Myers and d'Arnaud) and there are other examples. This is not an above market payment, although admittedly it is painful if you are emotionally invested in your prospects (as i am in d'Arnaud).
Furthermore, the eternal negativity of many Jays fans won't seem to die. for years they whine Rogers is cheap, then Rogers spends which is good, but during those years the refrain was often something like "prospects don't win games in the majors, we need to acquire guys can help now" and when that happens they whine"we paid too much!"
That said, as Mike Wilner and others point out - a LOT of highly regarded prospects fail. The classic example is that many Jays fans are disappointed in Colby Rasmus, despite him having been a top 5 prospect in baseball TWICE. But one that cuts closer to my heart and probably yours is Travis Snider. As a prospect he was certainly more highly praised than d'Arnaud is as I write this, he was THE guy we'd build the next decade around. if we'd traded him before he ever got to the majors the GM would have been burned in effigy outside the stadium. How's he worked out so far? Look, Syndergaard was the cost of doing business, you were never going to deal for ANY ace pitcher without including him or Aaron Sanchez. Anyone who's upset with that is simply not realistic. No, d'Arnaud is the one who hurts. But, again let's cite Wilner - d'Arnaud is not remotely as hyped as Matt Weiters was and Weiters still hasn't turned into an All-Star and that typical of young catchers (Posey and Piazza aside) and not at all uncommon among prospects in general.
So factoring in BOTH contract and player costs, this deal is an astonishing success in terms of the return and how it elevates the team.
Third - the obvious comparison to the Yankees and Rays will have to wait for another day, in terms of detailed comparisons, But I'm prepared to argue that this roster, on paper ("gel" issues aside) is THE best team in the AL and possible the Majors right now. While I acknowledge that Adam Lind seemingly can't hit lefties at all, those who persist in whining about that particular issue are irredeemable negativist. Just shut up. If Lind starts at DH every single AL game, he's going to face a LHSP less than 40 times, and maybe a quarter of those being really good examples of the type. Put another way, Lind had 89 at bats against lefties last year in 135 games played. So lets round that up to 100. He hit .276 v. RHP so the same rate would amount to 28 hits in those 100 at bats. He had 18 vs. LHP last year. You see that? We're talking about the difference of less than TEN hits in the whole season. So chill the f*** out, eh?
Let's enjoy this. After last season, we deserve it.