R.A. Dickey is set to unleash his knuckleball on the AL East next season following a trade from the New York Mets to the Toronto Blue Jays. Dickey won’t baffle division opponents for as long as former Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield did, but he will have considerably more success during his tenure.
The seven-player deal is now simply pending all players passing their physicals after Dickey and Toronto agreed to a two-year, $25 million contract extension on Monday morning.
With the contract extension now settled, Dickey has become the latest major acquisition for the Blue Jays in the past month. Toronto acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio in a November trade that makes them the early favorites to win the AL East in 2013.
Dickey’s ability to duplicate his surprising 2012 will play a vital role in Toronto’s ability to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish. Wakefield was a mainstay on Boston’s pitching staff for more than 15 years, but he never faced the expectations that Dickey will carry entering 2013.
Despite the pressure of anchoring the Blue Jays' staff, Dickey should thrive in his new home. There are three reasons to believe that he will experience far more success in the AL East than Wakefield did during his 17-year career with the Red Sox.
Here they are.