R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays agreed to a new contract Monday, clearing the way for the New York Mets to trade the NL Cy Young winner to a Toronto 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. Multiple reports say the reworked contract adds two years and $ 25 million to his existing deal.
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.
Thole would give the Blue Jays a catcher who is familiar with handling Dickey’s knuckleball. He’d join 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, resulting in season-ending surgery. D’Arnaud 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.
Popular with Mets fans, Dickey perturbed team management when he spoke about his contract situation last week during a club event at Citi Field for children displaced from their schools by Superstorm Sandy.
The Mets had been discussing a two-year extension with the stumbling block Dickey’s request for $ 13 million per season.
Hiroki Kuroda, a 16-game winner last season who like Dickey will be 38 next opening day, recently signed a one-year deal with the Yankees for $ 15 million. Anibal Sanchez, a combined 9-13 for Miami and Detroit but 10 years younger, signed with the Tigers for $ 80 million over five years.
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Dickey deserved better from the Mets