MLB notebook: Dickey to take knuckler to Toronto after trade

2012-12-18T00:00:00Z MLB notebook: Dickey to take knuckler to Toronto after tradeThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 18, 2012 12:00 am  • 

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.

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 Josh Johnson, Mark 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.

Inside pitch

• Free agent Nick Swisher is visiting the Cleveland Indians, who have a hole to fill in right field. Swisher is a career .256 hitter in stops with the Athletics, White Sox and Yankees. He had 93 RBIs last season, as well, as New York won the American League East.

• The Houston Astros have signed veteran Carlos Pena to be their designated hitter, addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League.

• The Chicago Cubs announced a one-year contract with third baseman Ian Stewart. He hit .201 in 55 games and had season-ending left wrist surgery in 2012.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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