42-year-old R.A. Dickey’s career isn’t over yet. Recently the free agent from Toronto signed a one year, 7.5-million-dollar deal with the Atlanta Braves. This deal includes an 8-million-dollar option along with a 500,000 dollar opt out for the Braves in 2018. Dickey is widely known for his knuckle ball, which he throws a staggering 87 percent of the time, and the average velocity of his knuckle ball is 76mph. Even with lower speed pitches, hitters historically could not seem to figure out how to hit them. That has changed in recent years. In the past three seasons Dickey’s win loss record is below .500, (35-39) and his ERA averaged above 4.0 in those years. Certainly a disappointing couple of seasons for Dickey, but that can’t take away from his 2012 season when he won the Cy Young Award with 20 wins and an ERA of 2.73! With those types of credentials, it is obvious why the Braves signed him. It’s very possible Dickey could be a diamond in the rough for the Braves.
For those of you who question why the Braves signed an ageing veteran on the downside of his career, don’t worry, there’s answers. Veteran players who have established themselves as elite are almost always great to have around the clubhouse. Think about Nick Markakis. When the Braves signed him in 2014 he was in his 30’s. As it turned out not only is he a great leader but he has also played exceptionally well for Atlanta through his two years spent here. With young pitchers soon to be coming through the farm system for Atlanta, having Dickey to show them the way is a huge plus for Atlanta. Also, we all know Dickey’s potential. If he can even pull off an average season it would be a huge stride forward for Atlanta as it would create less pressure on the Braves bullpen during games.
With R.A. Dickey added to Atlanta’s pitching staff, here’s what their starting rotation can possibly look like: Julio Tehran, R.A. Dicky, Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz, Bartolo Colon, along with Aaron Blair, Josh Collmenter, and numerous others competing for a spot. Obviously, things can change from now to the first game, but certainly count on Julio, Dickey, and Bartolo to be locks barring any injuries. Young players like Tyrell Jenkins may not initially be involved in the rotation, but are likely to be handed the ball later during the season. For the Braves to be successful this year and upcoming years, it’s going to have to take good pitching. With R.A. Dickey now being a new piece to the puzzle for Atlanta, the future looks just a little bit brighter.
Image 1 received from: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/r-a-dickey-puts-off-retirement-and-signs-one-year-deal-with-braves-170647662.html
Image 2 received from: http://atlantasportspage.org/julio-teheran-injury-updates-on-braves-pitchers-lat-and-return/