Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns in 2014 as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New York Mets ( i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown on Tuesdays with the number seven and work all the way to number one. Inspired by the current free agent market, this week’s countdown looks at the best Mets signings under $1 Million since 2000. Today we conclude the countdown with starting pitcher R.A. Dickey.
#1 – SP R.A. Dickey
The story of R.A. Dickey is well chronicled, how he was a top prospect in the Texas system, ran into injury trouble and then had to reinvent himself just to get back to the Major Leagues. At the time he was signed by the Mets prior to the 2010 season, Dickey had only compiled twenty big league starts over the last five seasons, 14 of them coming in a disasterous 2008 campaign with Seattle. After spending 2009 in the Minnesota Twins bullpen, the Mets signed Dickey to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Having worked on a knuckleball over the past couple seasons, the reinvention of Dickey became complete that season as his contract was quickly purchased from AAA Buffalo and he never looked back. Pitching an 11-9 record with a 2.84 ERA, Dickey also racked up 104 strikeouts, the most of his MLB career. Not a bad return for a no-risk minor-league deal and Dickey earned himself two value-priced extensions that kept him in a Mets uniform until 2013. Over those three seasons, Dickey compiled a 39-28 record with a 2.98 ERA, threw eight complete games and four shutouts and fanned 468 batters. He won the 2012 National League Cy Young Award and brought the Mets a nice return when dealt to Toronto the following offseason for John Buck as well as top prospects Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard. The seemingly never-ending value of Dickey sets him apart from every other free agent signing in Mets and maybe baseball history and earns him the top spot on the countdown.
- Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Best Bargains #3 – Marlon Byrd
- Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Best Bargains #7 – Fernando Tatis
- Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Best Bargains #6 – LaTroy Hawkins
- Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Best Bargains #2 – Pedro Feliciano
- Mets 101 Seven in Seven Series: Best Bargains #5-Endy Chavez
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