|Sunday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Jon Lester vs. R.A. Dickey||04.07.13 at 8:04 am ET|
The Red Sox and Blue Jays will send their aces to the mound on Sunday afternoon, with Jon Lester and R.A. Dickey each making his second start of the season.
In Lester’s first start of 2013, the Sox beat the Yankees, 8-2, on Monday. Lester gave up two runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking two over five innings. He allowed both runs during a 34-pitch fourth inning and was pulled after throwing 96 pitches (63 strikes) through the fifth.
Manager John Farrell was encouraged by Lester’s outing, which he called “a good starting point.” Lester relied mostly on his fastball and cutter on Monday and will look to get his changeup and curveball working earlier against the Jays.
Dickey struggled to control his knuckleball in his Opening Day start against the Indians, a game the Jays lost, 4-1. He walked four and gave up all four runs over six innings, although one run was unearned as it came after a passed ball by his catcher, J.P. Arencibia.
The 2012 NL Cy Young winner also struck out four, and though his lack of control hurt him, the only time the Indians really hit him hard was a home run by Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth.
Dickey has made nine career starts against the Sox with a 4.09 ERA, although he hasn’t faced them since 2009. In Lester’s 22 starts against Toronto, hitters have a .235/.290/.520 line against him.
Lester has done well against most of the Jays’ current hitters. Jose Bautista‘s OBP against him is just .288, although Bautista also has hit four homers off of Lester in 52 PAs. Melky Cabrera has had the most success against the lefty, with a .375/.400/.417 line.
Shane Victorino has faced Dickey 20 times, more than twice as many as any other Boston player, and has a .263/.300/.526 line with a home run and two doubles. Pedro Ciriaco hit a triple off of Dickey in his only appearance against him.
|Hot Stove: R.A. Dickey reportedly finalizes extension with Blue Jays||12.17.12 at 12:49 pm ET|
The Blue Jays and pitcher R.A. Dickey agreed on a two-year, $25 million extension, according to multiple reports, allowing completion of a trade that will send the 2012 National League Cy Young winner from the Mets to Toronto.
The Mets will receive highly regarded catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud., a 23-year-old who hit .333 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs at Triple-A Las Vegas before tearing a knee ligament in June, requiring season-ending surgery.
New York also reportedly will receiver Single-A right-hander Noah Syndergaard and major league catcher John Buck, while sending catcher Josh Thole to Toronto.
Dickey, 38, went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA this past season. The knuckleballer is signed for $5.25 million in 2013 but could not agree on an extension with the Mets, leading to the trade.
|Where Red Sox, Mets stand on R.A. Dickey trade chatter||12.03.12 at 9:05 pm ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — According to a major league source, the Red Sox and Mets have had “very preliminary” talks regarding the availability of reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey in a trade. The source said that the two teams had not discussed the specific prospects whom it would take to land Dickey, but said that — consistent with a report from ESPNBoston.com’s Joe McDonald that the Mets wanted Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. – the Mets would be aiming for that level of elite prospect in any deal involving the knuckleballer, who went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and an NL-leading 230 strikeouts in 233 2/3 innings in 2012.
However, multiple major league sources characterized the possibility of a trade of Dickey to the Sox as extremely unlikely. Indeed, a second major league source said that the Sox have had no serious internal discussions about landing the knuckleballer.
The Sox do continue to explore the market for a fifth starter. GM Ben Cherington said, in general terms rather than regarding any specific pitcher, that the team is weighing the cost in dollars of free agents vs. the possibility of trading for a more inexpensive option.
“If a team is going to move someone, especially if there’s any length of control, asking for a lot, as we would if we were talking about someone,” said Cherington. “It’s steep and I think teams, and I put us in this category, are trying to balance that vs, the free agent options. The free agent options, some of them might cost a little more money but require less talent, so we’re just trying to balance those options, and weigh those options.”
Rob Bradford contributed to this report.
|Hot Stove: Mets ‘serious’ about trading R.A. Dickey||at 3:52 pm ET|
Citing sources, ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweeted Monday that the Mets are “serious” about trading 2012 National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and that a deal could happen as soon as this week.
Stark lists the Rangels and the Royals as the most logical fits for the knuckle-baller. Last season, the 38-year-old Dickey led the NL in games started (33) innings pitched (233 2/3) and strikeouts (230). He posted a 20-6 record for the Mets with a 2.73 ERA.
|Trade Deadline: R.A. Dickey reportedly staying with the Mets||07.21.11 at 3:21 pm ET|
Yes, there is another knuckleballer in the major leagues, and he is actually pitching quite well.
Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey has a 3.80 ERA this season and is 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA since the start of June, leading one American League contender to put in a call to the New York front office according to a tweet from MLB Network and NESN analyst Peter Gammons.
The answer though, as Gammons notes, was of the negative variety. Dickey put together his first sub-4.00 ERA last season when he ranked seventh in the NL with a mark of 2.84 and could be on his way to such a stat this season if he can maintain his numbers of late. That performance must give the Mets enough comfort that he can continue to toss quality outings for not only the remainder of the season but beyond. Dickey is under contract for $4.25 million in 2012 and has a $5 million club option for 2013.
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