The Atlanta Braves announced that they would be signing right-hander R.A. Dickey on Thursday. The contract will be for one year with an option to extend it to 2018. The event marks the first signing of a free agent across baseball.
The 42-year-old baseball player will get $7.5 million in 2017. Moreover, the Atlanta holds an $8 million team option which includes a $500,000 buyout for 2018. On average, the total guarantee of the deal is valued at $8 million.
Dickey had 230 strikeouts when he won the 2012 National League Young Award with the New York Mets. However, he has been with Toronto since last four seasons. He has a lifetime record of 1.341 strikeouts and 4.01 ERA.
After signing Dickey, the Braves will look to sign another starter or trade markets to fill the spot. John Coppolella, the general manager, has said that club will look to have at least two starters in this winter. Dickey is the first one of those.
A key element of the deal is that it is a short term contract. With a hope that he will make a generous contribution to the team, this deal does not block any other starters in the minor league system. Therefore, the club wants to keep the path open for young talents who can join the team. Among the probable players, the Braves will look for Max Fried and Sean Newcomb.
RA Dickey is originally from Nashville. He played baseball at the University of Tennessee before he was signed by the Rangers in 1996. He made his debut in the big league with Texas in 2001. Apart from this, he has also pitched for Blue Jays, Mets, Twins, and Mariners.
The Braves are still looking to make a good comeback and expect RA Dickey to jump back over 200 innings.