RA Dickey Signs In Another Atlanta Braves Deal
The Braves have announced a one-year deal with free agent righty R.A. Dickey. The contract comes with a $8MM guarantee, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). That includes a $500K buyout of a 2018 option, which the team can exercise for $8MM.
Atlanta has long been said to be seeking multiple starters this winter, with the team interested in top-quality arms but also seeking to limit the length of any guarantees. This contract seems to accomplish what Atlanta hoped to do with at least one slot, plugging in a sturdy veteran without committing to a long-term deal.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted both the match and the guarantee in his ranking of the top fifty free agents. The 42-year-old is a native of Nashville and starred at the University of Tennessee, so the move will allow him to live closer to home.
Phil Niekro pitched with the Braves for 21 seasons, and his brother Joe spent two years there, 1973 and 1974. Hoyt Wilhelm also spent parts of three seasons with the Braves, in 1969, 1970 and 1971.
Dickey spent the last four seasons with the Blue Jays and contemplated retirement this year when he was not included on Toronto's postseason roster. But after he became a free agent, he decided to sign a one-year deal with an option for another to pitch for a team that is about 250 miles from his home in Nashville.
Dickey pitched three years with the Mets and won the 2012 National League Cy Young Award in his final season there.
In December of that year, the Mets traded him, along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, in a blockbuster deal to the Blue Jays for Travis d'Arnaud, Wuilmer Becerra, John Buck and a top pitching prospect named Noah Syndergaard.
Dickey broke in with the Texas Rangers in 2001 and has compiled a 110-108 record with a 4.01 earned run average with five teams. The Mets signed him to a minor league free-agent deal in 2010, and after six weeks at Class AAA Buffalo, he was inserted into the Mets' starting rotation and enjoyed the most success of his career.