The Mets and R.A. Dickey have avoided arbitration and agreed to a two-year deal with a third year club option, the team announced. Andy Martino of The New York Daily News, who first reported the agreement, says Dickey will make $7.5MM total for the two guaranteed years of the deal, excluding the option year and incentives (Twitter link). The contract is official, now that Dickey has passed his physical, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork, who says the deal is believed to guarantee $7.8MM (Twitter link).
When doctors performed Dickey's physical, one thing they're didn't find was a UCL in his right elbow. The 36-year-old knuckleballer is famously missing the all-important ligament, something Texas Rangers' doctors first discovered when they drafted him in 1996.
Dickey has bounced from team to team for most of his career, but he broke out with the Mets last season. After being recalled from Triple-A in mid-May, he pitched to a 2.84 ERA with 5.4 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and a 55.1% ground ball rate in 174 1/3 innings. Given the nature of the knuckleball, that walk rate is mighty impressive.
“R.A. had a breakthrough season for our organization last year, meriting this new contract,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said. “We expect R.A. to be a major part of our success going forward.”
As our Arbitration Tracker shows, Dickey filed for $4.7MM in arbitration while the team countered with $3.35MM, prompting Ben Nicholson-Smith is name his arbitration case one of ten to watch. Dickey would have been eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.