R.A. Dickey's knuckleball resurrected his dying career and made him the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner. Now, the Toronto Blue Jays hope Dickey's great pitch can resurrect their franchise, as they reportedly agreed to a contract extension with the knuckleballer, which will complete their trade with the New York Mets.
UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:15 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
It's official. Check out this tweet by Major League Baseball.
MLB (@MLB) December 17, 2012
UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 17 at 5:45 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
The players involved in the trade are now being told it's official (via ESPN's Adam Rubin):
Players have been getting calls that it's official.— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) December 17, 2012
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 17 at 4:50 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
The deal is now complete. Dickey has passed his physical and is officially headed to Toronto (via the New York Daily News' Andy Martino):
Source: Dickey has passed his physical. So there you go. The CY Young winner has been traded to Toronto. It's done.— Andy Martino (@MartinoNYDN) December 17, 2012
---End of update---
Mike Puma of the New York Post reported on December 16 that the deal included seven players between the two teams:
As first reported by The Post, the Mets were close to a seven-player deal with the Blue Jays, according to sources, that would send the NL Cy Young Award winner to Toronto for stud catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud. In addition, the Mets would send catcher Josh Thole and a non-elite prospect to the Blue Jays for their top pitching prospect, Noah Syndergaard, catcher John Buck and another non-elite prospect.
New York had become motivated to move Dickey in recent days, with the two sides embroiled in contentious negotiations over a contract extension. According to the New York Times' Andrew Keh, the Mets were offering Dickey a two-year deal worth $20 million; the pitcher reportedly sought $26 million while saying that he was asking for "even less than what’s fair.”
It's hard to argue with Dickey's point. The knuckleballer went 20-6 last season, posting a 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while striking out 230 batters. Dickey's 20 wins accounted for over a quarter of the team's total of 74 in 2012.
However, it seemed like the Mets weren't sold on Dickey's long-term viability and made the decision to pull the trigger on a deal with the Blue Jays.
The acquisition of Dickey continues an offseason full of turnover in the Great White North. Toronto had already made one stunning trade this offseason, acquiring Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and John Buck in a move that bordered on highway robbery in some fans' eyes.
This win-now philosophy for the Blue Jays flies in the face of everything general manager Alex Anthopoulos has done previously. The team was widely regarded as having one of the best prospect bases in Major League Baseball but seemed to sense an opportunity in a weakened AL East and pounced.
With Dickey now in the fold, the Blue Jays have a brilliant rotation full of varied arms and an offense that should be top-shelf as well.