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Cy and goodbye: Mets trade Dickey to Blue Jays

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Cy and goodbye: Mets trade Dickey to Blue Jays

NEW YORK (AP) Cy ya later.

R.A. Dickey and his nasty knuckleball are headed north of the border.

After weeks of speculation and then a weekend spent ironing out the last few details, the New York Mets finally traded the NL Cy Young Award winner to the Toronto Blue Jays in a seven-player swap Monday.

``I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of an organization that's committed to winning and putting a product on the field that the fans can be excited about,'' Dickey said Tuesday. ``A lot of people say these things at the beginning of spring training and the beginning of all new things, but I think in this particular case that the reason it feels so good is because it's so true, and you don't feel like you're tying to convince yourself of the things that you're saying.''

Toronto acquired the 38-year-old Dickey and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and veteran 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 adding $25 million over two years clearing the way for New York to send him to a team that's spending a lot of money trying to join baseball's elite.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets didn't completely decide to trade Dickey until they saw the final package that Toronto offered.

``This was a complicated deal,'' Alderson said on a conference call.

Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year, including a $250,000 escalator. His new contract drops next year's salary to $5 million, adds $12 million salaries for both 2014 and 2015, and includes a $12 million club option for 2016 with a $1 million buyout.

Dickey said New York's initial offer would have added $14 million over two years and the Mets increased it to $20 million.

``It's think it's important for me to grieve leaving New York,'' he said. ``I had proverbial home there. I had a home among fans. I had a home in an organization. I had a lot of success there, and I think it's important for me to be sad about that for a moment before I move on to the next feeling.''

Toronto has now acquired All-Stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera and Dickey since the season ended.

``We're just so close to contention,'' Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said. ``It's not just about one season. This allows us to put what we feel is a contending team together for an extended run, for a three- to five-year period.''

Dickey became the fourth pitcher to win the Cy Young and be traded before the next season, joining David Cone, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens.

Alderson said the Mets' preference going into the offseason was to sign Dickey to a multiyear deal. But as the winter meetings approached in early December, Alderson said Dickey's value ``in a possible trade was also sky-rocketing. At some point, those lines crossed.''

Several teams made runs at a deal for Dickey, with Texas and the Los Angeles Angels among those in the mix. Alderson said while some clubs popped in and out of trade talks, Toronto's interest remained steady.

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.

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.

``It was an extraordinary privilege for us to be part of his career,'' Alderson said. ``The final chapter has not been written.''

Dickey joins a stellar Toronto rotation that includes Johnson, Buehrle and returning starters Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.

``We clearly are convinced this can be a front-line starter for us,'' Anthopoulos said. ``I don't think he gets the credit or the respect he deserves because of his age, and because of what he does throw. And I understand because it's so rare.

``But there's so much overwhelming data and evidence that points to him continuing to have this success.''

Thole gives the Blue Jays a catcher who is familiar with handling Dickey's knuckleball, and Anthopoulos said that relationship was a key to the deal.

``R.A. is too important to our chances to take a chance and have a tryout camp to see if someone can catch him,'' he said.

Despite a big spot in the rotation to fill minus Dickey, Alderson said the Mets were not giving up on next season.

``We certainly are not punting on 2013,'' he said.

Alderson called d'Arnaud, who turns 24 in February, the top catching prospect in the minors and predicted he could contribute on the major league level next year. 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.

Popular with Mets fans, Dickey perturbed team management when he spoke about his contract situation last week during a club event at Citi Field for children displaced from their schools by Superstorm Sandy.

Dickey said he enjoyed playing for the Mets and added it would be ``disappointing'' if he went through his option year without a new deal and became a free agent.

``If that's the decision that they make, I feel like it would be unfortunate because it probably is going to mean that I'm not going to be back,'' Dickey said then. ``And that would be sad.''

Buck was an All-Star with Toronto in 2010. The 32-year-old hit .192 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs for Miami last season, then was part of the blockbuster trade between the Marlins and Blue Jays.

The 20-year-old Syndergaard went 8-5 with a 2.60 ERA for Class-A Lansing. The 18-year-old Becerra hit .250 with four RBIs in 11 games in the rookie Gulf Coast League.

Thole, 26, hit .234 with one homer and 21 RBIs in 104 games this year. The 29-year-old Nickeas split last season between the Mets and Triple-A Buffalo. He batted .174 with one homer and 13 RBIs for New York.

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AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Mike Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.

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Game 46: Capitals at Devils Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 46: Capitals at Devils Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Devils will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Devils game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-DEVILS GAME?

The Capitals (28-14-3) take on the Devils (23-12-8) Thursday, January 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Newark.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-DEVILS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Devils game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at  6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Devils
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-DEVILS GAME?

The Capitals-Devils game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-DEVILS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 18, 55 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 47
—NFL Draft (4/26) 98
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 234

Five possible Redskins free agent signings

Yesterday, we took an early look at how the Redskins might improve themselves in the first round of the draft. Free agency is just 55 days away so let’s look at five possible Redskins premium free agent signings.

QB Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings)—The Vikings have one of those “good problems to have” at quarterback. If Case Keenum leads them to the Super Bowl, they might have to hold on to him and let the 25-year-old former first-round pick walk. He didn’t put up huge numbers in his two years as the starter but the Vikings didn’t ask him to do much. He’s a pocket passer with mobility and it would be interesting to see what Jay Gruden could do with him. The devastating knee injury that cost him most of the last two seasons is, of course, a major concern and it would have to be examined closely before any major commitment.

WR Jordan Matthews (Bills)—He struggled some in 2017 after the Bills acquired him from the Eagles. He spent the last five games on injured reserve with a knee injury. But when he was healthy for his first three seasons with the Eagles, he averaged 75 receptions for almost 900 yards and six touchdowns per season. The injury could help the Redskins get a quality receiver at a discounted price.

G Jonathan Cooper (Cowboys)—The seventh overall pick of the 2013 draft has had problems getting a foothold in the NFL. He has spent two years with the Cardinals and two in Dallas. Injuries have hurt him as well. But he is young (27) and if he’s healthy he could be a good alternative to some of the more expensive options to fill the left guard spot.

DL Bennie Logan (Chiefs)—The Redskins wanted to sign him away from the Eagles a year ago but they couldn’t get a deal done. Logan went to the Chiefs on a one-year deal so he’s set to be a free agent again at age 28. He’s just the sort of nose tackle that Jim Tomsula likes (more athletic than heavy) and he could play on other downs as well. The Redskins have the same hole at nose tackle that they had a year ago and making another run at Logan is a no-brainer.

ILB Jon Bostic (Colts)—Logan was a second-round pick of the Bears in 2013 and if he signs with a new team in 2018 it will be his fourth in six NFL seasons. He is more solid than spectacular but the Redskins might just need someone who can play if they lose Zach Brown and/or Mason Foster and Will Compton to free agency.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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