Mets Avoid Arbitration With R.A. Dickey

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. â€œWe 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.

27 Responses to Mets Avoid Arbitration With R.A. Dickey Leave a Reply

  1. jp 5 years ago

    I like this. Dickey appears to be a late bloomer, rather than a flash in the pan. If he’s getting less than $5 mill per season, it could be a big win for the Mets.

    • Slopeboy 5 years ago

      I’m not convinced that he’s for real, but am glad to see see him get a deal he’s happy with. He was one of just a few bright spots for the Mets last year and one hell of a nice guy with the fans. Hopefully he’ll show that he’s the real deal this season.

      • jp 5 years ago

        Looking at some of his stats on Fangraphs they are definitely encouraging. 3.65 FIP, pretty good K/BB ratio, especially for a knuckleballer, 0.67 HR/9, 55.1 groundball percentage, etc.

        Most of all, just watching him pitch last year, you could see his intelligence on the mound. Throwing knuckleballs almost like a fast, medium, slow when needed.

        I’ll have my fingers crossed. Go Dickey!

  2. tenten 5 years ago

    very nice deal, Dickey is going to be our horse the next 3 years.

  3. MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

    He is now the oldest player on the Mets roster. Not bad considering we’re not too far removed from the Julio Franco days.

    • lefty177 4 years ago

      Julio Franco (52) – R.A. Dickey (36) = almost Ruben Tejada or Jenrry Mejia (21)

  4. MetsEventually 5 years ago

    And not overpayed, like Ollie! Excellent!

    • MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

      Well, we’re still waiting on the dollar amount. But two years with a club option sounds to me like the best way they could have gone with him.

  5. CitizenSnips 5 years ago

    Great news.

  6. WONDERFUL! He deserves this and it’s not like it’s a franchise ruining contract one of the few bright spots last season even he does suck I will still respect him.

  7. icedrake523 5 years ago

    Good for him. He’s bounced around his whole career, must feel great to know you know where you’re going to be next year.

  8. This came from Andy “sqeek box voice” Martino. Who knows if its even true.

  9. metsman 5 years ago

    what about Pagan? he’s pretty much the same deal as RA, a diamond in the rough who wasn’t getting paid enough, and between the two of them they made the Mets watchable last year.

    • Sylvan 5 years ago

      Pagan has another arb year after 2011, I think, so the Mets don’t need to contemplate an extension yet.

  10. Dickey’s interviews alone are worth $8M over 2 years.

  11. The guy’s success is someting out of a Disney movie. I’m happy for a “humble” athelete like him to get some dough. As a Met fan, I have my doubts if he can do it again, but he it will be fun watching him try

  12. AcePPO 5 years ago

    Martino just corrected himself. It’s 7.5 over two years, not 7.5 per. With a club option for year 3.

  13. Jeff Weissbuch 5 years ago

    Way to much for this guy. He is old and well traveled.

    • Normally for a 36 yr old, I would agree, however knuckleballers can be effective well into their 40’s, as Tim Wakefield has shown. Plus, there hasn’t been an effective knuckleballer in the National League since Charlie Hough.

  14. Dickey has signed a 2yr 7.5MM contract an option year for 2013 plus incentives. Excellent work by Sandy Alderson!! Good economical signing, which is easily tradeable should Dickey revert to pre-2010 form. Alderson has been making excellent low risk, low $$ signings.

    One thing I like about Dickey is his low walk rate (especially being a knuckleballer) And with two different types of knuckleballs that he throws, Dickey could be poised for another excellent season!

    • MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

      I wouldn’t say easily tradeable, because if he stinks no one will want him at all. I mean, the same thing was once said about Oliver Perez’s deal.

      • Agreed! I was assuming he would have another good season based on 2010’s success. I was referring to the $$ per year involved…$3.8MM per year avg is extremely reasonable for a 175 IP starter.

  15. 0vercast 5 years ago

    Good for him. Dickey’s “knuckle heat” is fun to watch and he’s maybe the nicest and most humble MLB player I’ve had a chance to speak with.

    I very much doubt he’ll ever again put up numbers like last year, but the price was right for the Mets.

  16. dc21892 5 years ago

    The Mets front office is making educated moves for once!

  17. florwax 5 years ago

    Keep up the good moves Mets…..Sign Pagan next.

  18. florwax 5 years ago

    Keep up the good moves Sandy……sign Pagan next & forget Rodrigo Lopez please.

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