Eager for a new challenge and probably a better chance to win, R.A. Dickey broke the news of his trade even before the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets.
A few minutes ahead of the teams announcing the seven-player swap Monday that sent the Natonal League Cy Young Award winner and former Seattle Mariners pitcher to Toronto, he tweeted his thanks to Mets fans and added he was ready to pitch for the 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.
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Toronto acquired the 38-year-old knuckleball pitcher 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.
“It was an extraordinary privilege for us to be part of his career,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said about Dickey on a conference call. “The final chapter has not been written.”
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. Toronto has acquired All-Stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Melky Cabrera since the season ended.
Dickey had a 20-6 record with a 2.73 ERA last season and was already signed for $5.25 million in 2013. His new deal adds two seasons for $25 million — he will get $12 million in both 2014 and 2015, plus there’s a club option for 2016 at $12 million with a $1 million buyout.
Dickey needed to pass a physical before the teams announced the deal. He became the fourth pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and be traded before the next season, joining David Cone, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.
Texas and the Los Angeles Angels were among several teams interested in Dickey.
The Tigers have agreed to a five-year contract with right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez. The team didn’t disclose financial terms, but a person familiar with it told The Associated Press last week on condition of anonymity that the deal was worth $80 million. … Two people with knowledge of the negotiations say the Athletics have agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan’s Seibu Lions to a $6.5 million, two-year contract with a $5.5 million option for a third season. A news conference is set for today. … The Cubs announced a one-year contract with third baseman Ian Stewart netting him $2 million if he makes the opening-day roster plus $500,000 in incentives. The team also designated pitcher Jeff Beliveau for assignment. … The Astros, preparing for their first season in the American League, signed veteran designated hitter Carlos Peña. In his second stint with Tampa Bay last season, Pena, 34, hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI. Terms were not released. … Free agent outfielder Nick Swisher was scheduled to visit the Indians on Monday, and will tour the team’s facilities at Progressive Field today. Swisher hit 24 homers last season for the Yankees.