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Free-spending Jays add Dickey

NEW YORK — Eager for a new challenge and certainly a better chance to win, R.A. Dickey broke the news of his trade even before the Blue Jays and Mets did.

A few minutes ahead of the teams announcing the seven-player swap Monday that sent the NL Cy Young winner to Toronto, he tweeted his thanks to Mets fans and added he was all set to pitch for Toronto.

"Now that its official, I want to say that I don't have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support," Dickey posted on Twitter. "Thank you for making me feel wanted.

"Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays."

Toronto acquired the knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and catcher John Buck, plus minor-league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.

"It was an extraordinary privilege for us to be part of his career," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said of Dickey. "The final chapter has not been written."

Earlier in the day, Dickey, 38, and the Blue Jays agreed to a contract, clearing the way for the deal. Toronto is spending a lot of money trying to join baseball's elite, acquiring All-Stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera and Dickey since the season ended.

Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year. His new contract adds two more seasons for $25 million. He will get $12 million in both 2014 and 2015, plus there's a club option for 2016 at $12 million with a $1 million buyout.

Others to win the Cy Young and be traded before the next season were David Cone, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.

Dickey was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season, capping his rapid rise from the majors' scrap heap to an ace. He perfected a way to throw his floater faster than previous knuckleballers, and with exceptional control.

What should be a stellar rotation also has Johnson, Buehrle and returning starters Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.

D'Arnaud, who turns 24 in February, hit .333 at Triple-A Las Vegas with a .380 on-base percentage and a .595 slugging percentage before tearing a knee ligament in June. He was rated Toronto's best prospect by Baseball America.

RAYS FARMHAND SUSPENDED: Rays minor-league outfielder Cody Rogers has received a 50-game suspension without pay for refusing to take an offseason drug test, MLB announced. Rogers, a seventh-round pick in 2009, hit .244 in 112 games for Class A Charlotte last season. His suspension will be effective at the beginning of next season.

PEÑA JOINS ASTROS: Former Rays first baseman Carlos Peña signed with the Astros to be their DH. Peña, 34, batted .197 with a .330 on-base percentage and a .354 slugging percentage last season, his second stint with Tampa Bay. He had his best seasons from 2007-10 with the Rays and is the franchise career leader with 163 home runs. He said he liked joining a rebuilding team: "I've been on teams where we were thought to be the worst in baseball at one point and very quickly, sooner than anyone expected, we were in a World Series.''

DETROIT RE-SIGNS PITCHER: The Tigers agreed to a five-year contract with right-hander Anibal Sanchez worth a reported $80 million. Sanchez, 28, helped Detroit reach the World Series after being acquired from the Marlins in July.

A'S: The team agreed to a $6.5 million, two-year deal with shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions. Nakajima, 30, is a seven-time Pacific League All-Star.

CUBS: Third baseman Ian Stewart agreed to a one-year contract that includes a guaranteed $2 million if he makes the opening-day roster and $500,000 in incentives.

INDIANS: Free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher visited with the team. Swisher, 32, spent the past four seasons with the Yankees.

RED SOX: Shortstop Stephen Drew agreed to a one-year, $9.5 million deal.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

Free-spending Jays add Dickey 12/17/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 9:16pm]

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