Discussion: R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey may well be "the most compelling player" on the 2010 Mets (so says Ken Belson of the New York Times), and it's hard to argue that the knuckleballer has been the most surprising.  Signed for a $600K minor league contract last winter, Dickey has emerged as an unlikely stalwart of New York's rotation.  Dickey has a 2.41 ERA and 2.48 K/BB ratio in 18 starts this season, quite the far cry from the 5.43 ERA that the 35-year-old posted over his first seven major league seasons.

Though Dickey is working on a one-year contract, he will still be under the Mets' control since he hasn't accrued enough major league service time to qualify for free agency.  As Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.com points out, Dickey has another year of arbitration before reaching free agency after 2011.  Dickey is sure to earn a hefty raise from an arbiter, but Cerrone speculates that the veteran might be willing to forego a one-year pay boost in exchange for signing a new two-year deal with New York.

Even if Dickey keeps up his solid pitching for the rest of the season, his unimpressive past numbers and age will keep other teams from offering him anything but a one-year, incentive-laden contract in the winter should the Mets non-tender him.  Letting Dickey walk doesn't make much sense, so it seems much more likely that New York will bring Dickey back at a reasonable price — say, a two-year deal worth between $3-$4MM in total, plus bonuses in case Dickey keeps up his success. 

Given that Dickey only converted to the knuckleball around five years ago, his recent success may not be quite as big an outlier as it seems, but rather a sign that Dickey is mastering the art of the knuckler.  Bringing back Dickey seems like a logical move for the Mets, plus it couldn't hurt to bring back a popular player who is "a center of the clubhouse" according to Belson.  


26 Responses to Discussion: R.A. Dickey Leave a Reply

  1. CitizenSnips 5 years ago

    I’d definitely take him to solidify a back of the rotation spot, maybe even a #3. My biggest fear is Omar thinking he found his #2 guy, which is the role he’s been filling in as. I’m loving what Dickey has done but I can’t see him holding up this good next year.

  2. diehardmets 5 years ago

    If the Mets let him walk, I will not attend a single game next season. He’s been the best player on the team, fun to watch, great clubhouse guy…. you just can’t let him go.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      It’s funny, I’ve been to 13 Mets games this season, only seen him pitch once.

      He’s been a great asset. It’s going to be fun watching him on the market this winter.

    • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

      I’m really sorry if Dickey has been the best player on the team.

      • In point of fact, with a 2.41 ERA, and only three innings shy from qualifying for the leaders, which would have him seventh best among all major league starters, he’d be the best player on at least a few teams, and the best pitcher on most.

        • bjsguess 5 years ago

          WAR called. They disagree.

          Dickey isn’t a Top 50 pitcher in WAR (even if he qualified for enough innings). He’s having a fine year but to suggest that he would be the best PLAYER on some teams and the best PITCHER on most is not correct.

          Not to take anything away from his great season (and it is a great season) but if you look beneath the superficial numbers (like ERA) you see a couple things.

          1. He’s having a career year. No other season is close. Not typical for 35 YO pitchers.
          2. His peripherals aren’t great. His K’s are up a little and BB’s are down a little. If either numbers adjust the wrong way he’s in trouble. His 276 BABIP is a full 30 points lower than his career marks.

          To pencil him in as a #2 or #3 starter is just crazy. To pencil him in as any kind of starter is optimistic. Good year or not, Dickey has never come close to putting together this type of season. He may be a later bloomer – sure. More likely – he’s having a fluky season.

  3. Guest 5 years ago

    Signing him for 2 years sounds excellent. 3-4 million overall sounds low though. He’ll want more than that.

    • quintjs 5 years ago

      He may want it, but he hasn’t earned it, not at his age and track record.It would be a typically Mets thing to do to sign him for a 2-3 year deal.One year, 3million, to be a ‘4th starter’. If he repeats then maybe he has mastered it, and he can get a 2 or 3 year deal.There is a long track record of guys like this putting together a good half year to a year, signing a big deal and flaming out.

      EDIT: I should say I would put some incentives to get it to three million, didn’t mean that as the base.

      • mrbrklyn 5 years ago

        Your saying there is a long record of players like Dickey, who emerge at age 35 and put up ERA+’s over 160+?

        Your wrong. The situation is actually unique. And it is way past half a year. He’s worth a substantial 2 year deal. Not three.

      • mrbrklyn 5 years ago

        Your saying there is a long record of players like Dickey, who emerge at age 35 and put up ERA+’s over 160+?

        Your wrong. The situation is actually unique. And it is way past half a year. He’s worth a substantial 2 year deal. Not three.

    • R_y_a_n 5 years ago

      Lol welllll he isn’t going to get it….

  4. I’ve been spoiled by MLBTR. Normally, the players name in the piece is linked to Baseball Reference. You missed R.A. Dickey on this link. :) :). Either way, keep up the excellent work fellas.

  5. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    $3-4MM sounds a bit low for a guy who’s supposedly saving the staff. Perhaps it’s the idea because the Mets’ big deals always backfire (Castillo, Perez, etc.) but even so, it’s not fair for the Mets to screw Dickey because of their own history of miscalculations. I’d go for 1 year/$3MM guaranteed and a club option for $5MM with a player option for $3MM.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Wright’s big deal has worked out pretty well. Same with Reyes and Beltran (pre injuries).

  6. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    Imaging being virtually unwanted in your profession and still being worth $600,000 a year..

  7. Dickey Easily Deserves a $6 Million Contract for 2 years… This is not a flash in the pan… this is over 18 starts…

    • Look what Scott Feldman did last year, the contract he signed this year, and where he is now (the bullpen). Then think about what you said.

      • jimboslice9 5 years ago

        That may be true, but Feldman is a younger pitcher, while Dickey is older, but Dickey also throws a knuckleball, and based on that he just started throwing it a few years back, it may be he is just starting to master it, as the article suggests. Also, I’ve seen him pitch in person, and the knuckleball realy does move. Someone who has a knuckleball that moves like that, and knows how to use it, is not often just a flash in the pan.

  8. Lloydxmas 5 years ago

    Aarron Small anybody. Possibly, but I dont think so. He has shown grit. Something this current Met team lacks. The Mets will try and low ball him. Omar will think his rotation is set for next year and the Mets will have a similar year next year. I hope Dickey gets paid for his performance this year. He really is a great story. Somehow I dont think the Mets can improve their team for next year. Any thoughts?

  9. Well, if getting rid of Dickey makes no sense, then thats exactly what Omar and Jeff will do. Thats how the Mets work, they see what moves make no sense, then do it.

  10. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    Dickey seems like he’s on target to be Wakefield-level. If Wake’s history is any prediction for Dickey’s future, then he’s got another 5 or 6 good years in him. It would be worth it to sign him at the suggested $4MM level with bonuses, because he’s definitely going to eat alot of innings at the very least. And if his dancing bear routine continues to play out, he will be dominant for far more than the next two years. I would think he could get $5-6MM for a non-guaranteed one year deal from an arbitrator (6th year – dominant – great stats – legit #3 starter). $4MM for two years would be a bargain.

  11. icedrake523 5 years ago

    They should bring him back. It’s not as if they have anyone who is going to take his spot.

  12. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    R.A. Dickey is really Arron Small disguised with a beard and a Knuckler.

  13. tuscaloosatwins 5 years ago

    He’s the best thing about a bad Mets year. And while a 2.41 ERA probably won’t ever happen again, his success does not seem flukey at all, having watched his starts. He has real command and presence on the mound, and is a pleasure to watch. Also, he’s smart, humble, and classy – an all around great pickup for a team known for terrible pickups. They have to sign him up, and get Pelfrey’s head straight so he doesn’t have a series of starts that are totally miserable, like he seems to every year.

  14. paulio_male_gigalo 5 years ago

    Everybody likes RA, but let’s not fly off the handle here. He’s obviously earned a spot in next year’s rotation, but it’s a distinct possibility this year is a fluke.

    That being said, I don’t think he’s been “lucky” per se. BABIP needs to be carefully analyzed sometimes. If you’ve watched every game he’s pitched like I have, you’d see he’s getting a lot of really weak contact and not a ton of line drives. It’s definitely a stuff thing. The big question is will the stuff carry over into next year? If it does, sign me up even with a slight regression.

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