Baseball notes: R.A. Dickey agrees to $8 million deal with Braves
R.A. Dickey was won over by an Atlanta Braves sales team that included two Hall of Famers, including a fellow knuckleballer.
The former Met Dickey said he knew the Braves would be a good fit after meeting in Nashville, Tenn. with a group that included manager Brian Snitker, general manager John Coppolella and two Hall of Famers — former manager Bobby Cox and knuckleballer Phil Niekro.
“I had a great feeling then there was great hope I would be able to join the organization,” Dickey said Thursday after agreeing to a one-year contract with an $8 million guarantee.
He considers Niekro to be part of the “Jedi council of knuckleballers” who influenced his career.
“Phil and I have a good relationship,” Dickey said. “I consider him a friend.”
He gets a $7.5 million salary next year, and the Braves have an $8 million option for 2018 with a $500,000 buyout. The deal for the 42-year-old right-hander, the first of the 157 free agents to switch teams this off-season, is subject to a successful physical, tentatively planned for late next week.
ANDERSON HAS SURGERY: Cleveland Indians right-hander Cody Anderson had elbow surgery and will need two months to recover.
Anderson, who went 2-5 with a 6.68 ERA in nine starts this season, was bothered by pain in his elbow late in the year. The team said he was diagnosed with impingement in the back of the elbow joint.
HOLLIDAY FREE AGENT: Outfielder Matt Holliday became the final free agent, formally leaving the Cardinals when he and the team agreed to waive a provision in his contract that would have guaranteed his 2017 salary if he finishes among the top 10 in NL MVP voting.
Cespedes wins award
Free agent Yoenis Cespedes won his first Louisville Silver Slugger for his play with the Mets this past season.
Cespedes, an All-Star, hit 31 homers and posted a .530 slugging percentage, which was ninth-best in the National League. He set the Mets’ record with an extra-base hit in nine straight games in April.
The outfielder is set to decline the qualifying offer from the Mets, and then attempt to land a long-term deal. The Mets would like to retain Cespedes but other teams should be in the mix.
— Matt Ehalt