After the Atlanta Braves declined his option, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is now a free agent. Should the New York Mets bring him back?
For many New York Mets fans, R.A. Dickey has become the answer to the trivia question of who was traded for Noah Syndergaard. Some forget that Dickey was the NL Cy Young award winner for the Amazins, winning 20 games in 2012. Many would say that the Mets got the better end of that trade with the Blue Jays, but now New York has an opportunity to bring the former Cy Young award winner back to the Big Apple.
After just one season in Atlanta, the Braves have decided to release Dickey and he is now an unrestricted free agent. Dickey isn’t going to be a frontline starter by any stretch and has been 59-62 as a starter since leaving Flushing.
Still, Dickey would be valuable in the rotation like Bartolo Colon was for so many years as a backend of the rotation innings eater. With Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and even Seth Lugo dealing with arm issues all last season, New York cannot pencil any of these starters in for 150+ innings next year.
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Dickey would be an inexpensive workhorse who could operate out of the bullpen if every starter is healthy and be a fill-in or sixth starter as needed. Despite being 43 next season, the knuckleball specialist threw over 190 innings for the Braves last season and has topped 200 innings in three of the five seasons since leaving the Mets.
We don’t know how many innings the starting pitchers will be limited to and what their health will be next season. Having a pitcher like R.A. Dickey gives the New York Mets a reliable starter in the rotation who has proven he can handle the bright lights of the Big City. In fact, Dickey’s best years as a pro were in New York with even less offensive support going 39-28 with 2.95 ERA over three seasons.
Is R.A. Dickey the answer to the New York Mets getting back to October baseball? Absolutely not. However, he would be a valuable pitcher as a starter or long man out of the bullpen and give a pitching staff with a lot of questions heading into next season at least one answer.