MLB Hot Stove signings: Braves sign knuckleballer R.A. Dickey
We have our first free agent signing and it's the Braves landing a starting pitcher
What's one major thing rebuilding teams need to start turning the corner? Veteran starting pitchers who can eat up innings and not put so much stress on the bullpen and other -- particularly young -- starters. With that said, I give you R.A. Dickey, the Braves and an excellent Twitter GIF:
So the Braves ink Dickey out of free agency to a one-year deal with an option for 2018. Jon Heyman reports that it's for $7.5 million with an $8 million club option for 2018.
Knuckleballers, man. They defy age. Dickey is 42 and has a contract that could run through 2018.
Last season, Dickey was 10-15 for the AL East champion Blue Jays. He pitched to a 4.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and struck out 126 in 169 2/3 innings. In the previous five seasons, though, Dickey averaged 219 innings pitched. With the Braves still rebuilding and looking to really make strides forward, expect him to jump back up over 200 innings, barring injury.
The last time Dickey was in the NL East, he won the Cy Young. In 2012 with the Mets, he was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 230 strikeouts in 233 2/3 innings. He was an All-Star and that remains the lone trip of his career.
Dickey slots behind ace Julio Teheran in the Braves rotation for now. There's still a lot more time in the offseason, obviously, but for now it looks like the rotation would round out with fellow veteran Josh Collmenter in addition to youngsters Mike Foltynewicz and Matt Wisler. Aaron Blair and a host of other young pitchers are also options, but the smart money is on the Braves adding another veteran via free agency or trading for a bigger name.
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