Atlanta Braves Sign Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey
The Atlanta Braves have signed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to add a proven veteran arm to their starting pitching rotation for the 2017 season.
Dickey was the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner while with the New York Mets. That year he went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.053 WHIP. He led the NL in strikeouts, innings pitched, starts, complete games, and shutouts that year. He was also an NL All-Star for the only time.
It was an outlier season for Dickey, who has mostly been a .500-type innings eater over the rest of his 14-year big league career.
He had a streak of five consecutive years with at least 208.2 innings end this past season when he tossed 169.2 with the Toronto Blue Jays in his fourth season north of the border.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 10, 2016
Dickey was the Texas Rangers’ first round pick way back in the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft as the 18th overall player selected. That summer he helped the U.S. Olympic team win a Bronze medal in Atlanta.
He reached the big leagues with the Rangers for a 2001 cup of coffee, then pitched in Texas through the 2006 season.
Signing as a free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers in December of 2006, he would never pitch for the Brewers. He pitched that entire season with AAA Nashville in the Milwaukee system, and again became a free agent.
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In November of 2007, Dickey signed with the Minnesota Twins, but they did not offer him a 40-man roster spot. Just a week later he was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the Rule 5 Draft.
Dickey was offered back to the Twins, but the two teams came to a trade agreement, and Dickey ended up in Seattle where he split the 2008 season between the bullpen and the Mariners rotation.
A free agent once again after that season, the Twins brought him back and actually let him stay and pitch in 2009 when he was used almost exclusively in the bullpen.
Dickey then signed with the Mets as a free agent following the 2009 campaign, and it proved to be a career-changer.
The Mets gave him his first full rotation shot, and he went 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA. Dickey would go 39-28 over three seasons with the Mets, including the Cy Young campaign.
While pitching with the Mets in June of 2012, Dickey set the franchise record with 32.2 consecutive scoreless innings. On June 13 and 18 he tossed consecutive one-hitters, the first pitcher in almost a quarter-century to do so.
In December 2012 the Mets sent him to the Blue Jays in a big seven-player deal, with New York receiving starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard as part of the package.
Dickey released an autobiography that offseason titled Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball.
In the book he revealed that the had been sexually abused multiple times as a young boy and teenager, and had seriously considered suicidal thoughts as an adult.
Dickey has an overall 110-108 record with a 4.01 ERA, allowing 1,840 hits over 1,883.2 innings with a 1,341/596 K:BB ratio. He also won an NL Gold Glove Award in 2013.
The now 42-year-old joins a rotation that has previously been led by Julio Teheran, who turns 26 years old in January, as its senior member.