NEW YORK — R.A. Dickey tweeted his own trade Monday, with the NL Cy Young winner thanking New York Mets fans for their backing and saying he was all set to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays.
“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,” he wrote.
Toronto acquired the 38-year-old 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.
Earlier in the day, Dickey and the busy Blue Jays agreed to a new contract, clearing the way for the Mets to send him to a team that’s spending a lot of money trying to join baseball’s elite.
Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year. The Mets began to look at trade possibilities for the 20-game winner when the sides couldn’t agree to extend his deal for two more seasons.
Toronto said his contract from 2013-15 was worth $29 million and had a club option for 2016 at $12 million. Dickey needed to pass a physical before the teams announced the deal.
The Blue Jays have missed the playoffs since winning their second straight World Series crown in 1993, and have boldly moved to reshape a team that went 73-89 last season in the rugged AL East.
Last month, they acquired a high-priced trio of All-Stars — pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes — in a 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins.
Toronto then signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, an All-Star outfielder with San Francisco whose season ended when he was suspended 50 games for a positive testosterone test.
Dickey was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season, capping his rapid rise from the majors’ scrap heap to an ace pitcher. He did it by perfecting a way to throw his floater faster than previous knuckleballers, and tossing it with exceptional control.
Dickey becomes part of a stellar rotation that includes Johnson, Buehrle and returning starters Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.
Thole gives the Blue Jays a catcher who is familiar with handling Dickey’s knuckleball. He joined a lineup that features former home run champ Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who hit 42 homers last season.
D’Arnaud turns 24 in February. He hit .333 at Triple-A Las Vegas with 16 homers and 52 RBIs before tearing a knee ligament trying to break up a double play in June. He has been an All-Star at several levels during his climb through the minors.
Veteran catcher Pena signs with HOUSTON: In Houston, the Astros have signed veteran Carlos Pena to be their designated hitter, addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League.
The 34-year-old Pena, who spent last season in his second stint with Tampa Bay, hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2012. Terms were not released Monday.
Pena had the best seasons of his career in his first stint with the Rays from 2007-2010 when he had at least 100 RBIs in three of those four seasons. His most productive year came in his first with the team when he hit 46 homers with 121 RBIs, both career-highs.
Pena started his career with the Rangers and has also played with Oakland, Detroit, Boston and the Cubs.
Team announces 5-year deal with RHP Sanchez: In Detroit, the Tigers have agreed to a five-year contract with right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez will be at a news conference Monday afternoon. The team didn’t disclose financial terms, but a person familiar with it told The Associated Press last week on condition of anonymity that the deal is worth $80 million.
Sanchez helped Detroit reach the World Series this year. He had a 1.77 ERA in 20.1 innings over three postseason starts, but was 1-2 because the Tigers were shut out in each of his losses.
Detroit acquired the 28-year-old Venezuelan in July from Miami along with second baseman Omar Infante for right-hander Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers.
He is 48-51 with a 3.75 ERA since making his major league debut with the Marlins back in 2006.
Report: A’s agree to sign shortstop Nakajima: In Oakland, Calif., two people with knowledge of the negotiations say the Oakland Athletics have agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan’s Seibu Lions.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because there had yet to be a formal announcement.
The AL West champion Athletics called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon described as a “major announcement.”
Nakajima agreed to a $6.5 million, two-year contract. The deal also includes a $5.5 million option for a third season, one of the people said.
Nakajima, a seven-time Pacific League All-Star, has a .302 batting average with 149 home runs, 664 RBIs and 134 stolen bases over 11 seasons with Seibu.
He would fill a big void for Oakland, which traded away shortstop and second baseman Cliff Pennington to Arizona in a trade that brought outfielder Chris Young to the A’s.
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