2) NY Mets free agent signing that exceeded expectations: R.A. Dickey
Mets fans who saw Reed pitch in the 1990s may have felt some nostalgia seeing history practically repeat itself with R.A. Dickey years later.
Dickey was a few years older when he made his debut with the Mets in 2010 than Reed in 1997. After many years of swapping uniforms regularly, he turned in an 11-9, 2.84 ERA performance for the Mets in his first season. He was good again for them in 2011, but in 2012 he broke free and had one of the most surprising seasons of any pitcher.
Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA on his way to a Cy Young. He led the league in starts, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, and strikeouts. It was unprecedented for a guy brought over on a minor league deal while in his mid-30s.
The Mets managed to capitalize on Dickey’s success and traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays only a few weeks after he won the Cy Young. The trade brought them Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, two key pieces on the MLB roster over the next few seasons.
The story of Dickey and his success with the Mets tops what Reed did because of the Cy Young award. The unconventional nature of him being a knuckleball pitcher adds even more flavor to the tale.