Why the Toronto Blue Jays Should Bring Back R.A. Dickey


Although he struggled in the ALCS, R.A. Dickey will be a key contributor for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey has become a polarizing figure for Blue Jays’ fans. Some fans love the deep thinking, well-read, intellectual, 200 plus inning eater. While others hold a disdain towards the soon to be 41-year-old knuckleballer’s spot in the Jays’ rotation.

Sep 30, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) pitches during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Love him or hate him, though, there is no denying Dickey’s importance to the 2016 Blue Jays. For a modest $12 million, which is the cost of his club option, the Blue Jays will get a starting pitcher who has consistently pitched 200-plus innings in every season since 2011. With fellow workhorse Mark Buehrle retiring, and the status of ace David Price yet to be determined, the 200-innings Dickey provides will be a very valuable asset to the 2016 Blue Jays.

I get that Jays’ fans will share feelings of regret and resentment towards Dickey once the World Series starts on Tuesday and you see New York Mets‘ catcher Travis d’Arnaud and pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the field, both of whom were part of the trade for Dickey in 2012. But fans will just have to get over it, because the Blue Birds are going to need Dickey next season.

Again, with the possibility of losing David Price, Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada, the Jays’ starting rotation faces a number of questions this offseason. Dickey is not a solution to those problems, but he is certainly one piece to the puzzle that is the starting rotation.

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  • Dickey did have a forgettable start in the ALCS, but that doesn’t overshadow his strong second half where he compiled a 8-1 record, to go along with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.003 WHIP in 15 starts. Much like his ALCS, though, his first half of the season was a disappointment, highlighted by a 3-10 record.

    The most important stat when it comes to Dickey, however, is his innings. Over the past four seasons Dickey has thrown a major league leading 888 1/3 innings, which is 2 2/3 innings ahead of James Shields. Dislike Dickey and his unpredictable knuckleball all you want, but those are very valuable innings in a 162-game schedule, especially for a team that sees itself returning to the postseason.

    So while the sight of d’Arnaud and Syndergaard will create angst among Jays’ fans this week, keep in mind the value Dickey will provide the Blue Jays in 2016.

    It might not be a flashy move like re-signing fellow Tennessee native David Price would be, but bringing back Dickey is a must for the Blue Jays this offseason.

    Next: Blue Jays Claim Switch-Pitcher Pat Venditte from Oakland A's

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