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Mets trade Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to Blue Jays
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — R.A. Dickey tweeted his own trade Monday, with the NL Cy Young winner thanking New York Mets fans for their backing and saying he was all set to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Now that its official, I want to say that I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support,” Dickey posted on Twitter. “Thank you for making me feel wanted.”
“Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays,” he wrote.
Toronto acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and catcher John Buck, plus minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
Earlier in the day, Dickey and the busy Blue Jays agreed to a new contract, clearing the way for the Mets to send him to a team that’s spending a lot of money trying to join baseball’s elite.
Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year. The Mets began to look at trade possibilities for the 20-game winner when the sides couldn’t agree to extend his deal for two more seasons.
Toronto said his contract from 2013-15 was worth $29 million and had a club option for 2016 at $12 million. Dickey needed to pass a physical before the teams announced the deal.
The Blue Jays have missed the playoffs since winning their second straight World Series crown in 1993, and have boldly moved to reshape a team that went 73-89 last season in the rugged AL East.
Last month, they acquired a high-priced trio of All-Stars — pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes — in a 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins.
Toronto then signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, an All-Star outfielder with San Francisco whose season ended when he was suspended 50 games for a positive testosterone test.
Dickey was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season, capping his rapid rise from the majors’ scrap heap to an ace pitcher. He did it by perfecting a way to throw his floater faster than previous knuckleballers, and tossing it with exceptional control.
Dickey becomes part of a stellar rotation that includes Johnson, Buehrle and returning starters Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.
Thole gives the Blue Jays a catcher who is familiar with handling Dickey’s knuckleball. He joined a lineup that features former home run champ Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who hit 42 homers last season.
D’Arnaud turns 24 in February. He hit .333 at Triple-A Las Vegas with 16 homers and 52 RBIs before tearing a knee ligament trying to break up a double play in June. He has been an All-Star at several levels during his climb through the minors.
The Los Angeles Angels and Texas also had been interested in Dickey before the Blue Jays swooped in.
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