The Mets have come to an agreement with free agent starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, re-signing him to a 2 year contract worth $7.5 million. Dickey went 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA last season for the Mets, and may have been their most consistent starting pitcher. Dickey was widely considered the biggest surprise for the 2010 Mets, and was a great find by ex-GM Omar Minaya. Last season, Dickey ranked 7th in the National League in ERA and 6th in the National League in complete games. He has a rubber arm and features an unusually fast knuckle ball that hitters have not become familiar with just yet.
Can you really expect R.A. Dickey to be the same pitcher that he was last year? He is now 36 years old and entering his 9th season in the Major Leagues, with his career numbers being far from decent. For his career, Dickey is 33-37 with a 4.70 ERA. He has pitched for4 teams – the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, and New York Mets. Dickey was once a power pitcher earlier in his career, featuring a 95 mph fastball for the Texas Rangers. He is actually missing a ligament in his throwing elbow and was very near having Tommy John surgery, but instead, he developed this unique knuckle ball. His knuckle ball is faster than a traditional one, and hitters just seem to have trouble hitting it – this is why I believe that Dickey will continue to experience some sort of success in the major leagues. He might not go 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA, but he is definitely a solid option for the back end of the rotation for both this year and next. Dickey was a nice signing and he can definitely throw a ton of innings due to his rubber arm, thus helping out the bullpen as well.
We all know that R.A. Dickey is not Cliff Lee and not a major signing, but this news is pretty significant for the Mets. They have made the right choice in bringing this guy back, being as though he pitched so well last year and seems so promising for 2011 and beyond. The big ballpark of Citi Field will also help him out, just as it does with every pitcher – pitching in Flushing will never hurt your individual numbers.