When the New York Mets signed R.A. Dickey, they landed a late Black Friday deal.
A Black Friday deal came late for the New York Mets back in 2009. Days before Christmas, they got a bargain on a pitcher that would go on to win a Cy Young.
R.A. Dickey is this pitcher. Surely, you have heard of him. Back in 2012, during his third year with the club, Dickey led the league in multiple statistics including complete games, shutouts, and strikeouts. It was impressive enough to hand him the award for the National League’s best pitcher.
Prior to joining the Mets, Dickey was a journeyman without much big league experience. He first debuted in 2001 with the Texas Rangers as a reliever. In 2003, he returned to Major League Baseball where he would pitch both as a starter and reliever.
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The results were never good for Dickey. In five seasons with the Rangers, his lowest ERA was 5.09. He would last pitch for them in 2006.
Dickey would again see major league action in 2008. This time, he would join the Seattle Mariners. Again, the results weren’t great. In 112.1 innings of work, Dickey owned a 5.21 ERA.
The 2009 season came along and so did a new uniform for the aging pitcher. Now in his age 34 season, Dickey would represent the Minnesota Twins. He managed to put together a 4.62 ERA in 64.1 innings of work. Now working as a full-time reliever outside of one start, it seemed as if he might have a niche.
Well, things changed fast. Dickey was signed as a minor league free agent after the 2009 season by New York. Something clicked. Dickey was impressive in Triple-A, going 4-2 with a 2.23 ERA in eight starts. When he got a chance to pitch against major leaguers, he was almost as good.
Dickey’s first year with the Mets ended with an 11-9 record and 2.84 ERA. He returned with another solid season in 2011, going 8-13 with a 3.28 ERA.
The crown jewel season occurred in 2012 when Dickey achieved practically every individual accomplishment a pitcher sets out to. A Cy Young, an All-Star appearance, and more frustrated batters called out on strikes than any other pitcher in the league all helped highlight his year.
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With his value at an all-time high and a chance to add some minor league talent, the Mets famously traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays after the 2012 season. The Mets seemed to refurbish this late Black Friday gift and recycle it into something pretty awesome named Noah Syndergaard.