After going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and leading the NL with 230 strikeouts, Dickey was scheduled to earn $5.25 million next year with the Mets. At first they offered a deal adding $14 million over two years. New York later increased its offer to an additional $20 million over two years, still short of what Dickey wanted.
“I even told him this when I met him, I didn't think he got the respect he deserved,” Anthopoulos said.
Anthopoulos said too many have overlooked Dickey's last three solid seasons. He even thinks Dickey can improve on his Cy Young season as he continues to work on mastering the knuckleball.
Dickey languished in the minors for 14 seasons and switched from conventional pitcher to full-time knuckleballer in a last-ditch effort to save his career. It took him years to finally master the floating, darting pitch, which he often throws harder (around 80 mph) and with more precision than almost anyone who used it before him.”
“The first time I really felt I could be consistent with it was late 2009,” Dickey said. “I still have more to learn. I'm still hungry and passionate about my craft.”
Anthopoulos called it an “expensive” trade because they gave up a lot of young talent, including top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard, but said you don't often get a chance to acquire a Cy Young Award winner. “Guys like this don't come around very often and they don't get traded very often,” Anthopoulos said.