R.A. Dickey is everywhere these days. He’s on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated discussing the sexual abuse he was victimized by as a child. On Tuesday, he annoyed the New York Mets by using their holiday party to champion for a new contract.
Dickey is one of the most engaging men in baseball. A 38-year-old knuckleballer, who is finally an overnight sensation, Dickey won the National League Cy Young Award last season.
Now, the Mets are looking to trade him. Well, maybe not trade him, but they’re thinking about it. Dickey will receive $5 million next year, but he would like additional years on his contract.
The Mets still control him for another year, and there’s probably little reason to extend him. Even though some knuckleballers can pitch into their forties, Dickey throws a harder knuckleball than Tim Wakefield did.
If he has another 20-game win season, they could extend him at 39, but he’s only won 61 games in his fascinating career.
New York has reportedly talked with every team in the American League East about Dickey, and that’s where the Orioles come in.
Buck Showalter was the manager of the Texas Rangers when he and pitching coach Orel Hershiser convinced to try the trick pitch. He didn’t have any success there. In his last start there, Dickey allowed six home runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Dickey didn’t have any success with the knuckleball until 2010, and now he’s trying to exploit his newfound good fortune.
Showalter is very fond of Dickey, and so is pitching coach Rick Adair, who worked with him in the Texas system. Dickey pitched a one-hitter against the Orioles in New York last June, and he visited with Showalter the next day.
The Orioles are unlikely to give the Mets a top prospect or two for Dickey, even with the recent success and his captivating tales.
NOTE: Nate McLouth’s signing was scheduled to become official on Wednesday. He hasn’t completed his tests and the Orioles hope to have an announcement on Wednesday.