R.A. Dickey has changed teams again.
Unlike previous cases in his career, though, when teams doubted his ability and gave up on him, the Toronto Blue Jays wanted him enough that it gave up a pair of top prospects in order to get him.
The Blue Jays completed a trade with the New York Mets for Dickey, 37, on Monday, weeks after he was named the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner
"I think it comes down to how you evaluate R.A., and I think that's going to define the results of this trade for us," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said, according to the team’s website. "We evaluate him as a front-of-the-rotation starter. Clearly, he won the Cy Young, he's pitched like one for the last three years.
"I think he doesn't get the credit, the respect, that he deserves because of his age, because of what he does throw [a knuckleball]. I understand, it's so rare, but there's just so much overwhelming data and evidence that points to him continuing to have this success."
Toronto will be the fifth Major League team for Dickey, a journeyman for much of his professional career. He spent the last three years with the Mets and went 39-28, including 20-6 with a league-leading 230 strikeouts in 2012.
The teams worked out the basics of the deal over the weekend and finalized it when Dickey agreed to a contract extension with the Blue Jays.
"Now that it's official, I want to say that I don't have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support and encouragement I received from all of you," Dickey wrote on Twitter, addressing his fans in New York. "I've always felt that there was a connection beyond the uniform. Thank you for making me feel wanted."
He will be the seventh Cy Young winner in history to open the following season with a new team, the fourth because of a trade.
New York sent catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to Toronto for catchers Travis d'Arnaud and John Buck, pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard and Minor Leaguer Wuilmer Becerra.
“It was an extraordinary privilege for us to be part of his career over the past three years," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "The final chapter has not been written, but it has been an extraordinary career, arcing from disappointment to jubilation.
"We don't expect to go out and duplicate R.A. Dickey. … That's not going to happen."