Sports

December 16, 2012

Blue Jays closing in on a deal for Dickey

Baseball notes

The Toronto Blue Jays tried Sunday night to close a trade for New York Mets ace R.A. Dickey, with the deal hinging on whether the NL Cy Young winner could work out a new contract.

The Mets would get prized catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud. There was speculation Toronto also would receive catcher Josh Thole while sending catcher John Buck and minor league pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the Mets.

Dickey, a 38-year-old knuckleballer, was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season. He is signed for $5.25 million next year, and the Mets started exploring trades after they couldn't agree to a contract adding two years.

The Mets have made offers of about $20 million for two years, while Dickey has sought a two-year extension for around $26 million, the New York Times reports.

D'Arnaud, who turns 24 in February was rated as Baseball America's No. 17 prospect heading into 2012. He moved up to Triple-A this season, where he hit .333 at Las Vegas with 16 homers and 52 RBIs. He tore a knee ligament in June and had season-ending surgery.

The 20-year-old Syndergaard was a supplemental first round selection and 38th overall pick in the 2010 draft. He spent last season at Class A Lansing, where he posted a 2.60 ERA in 103 2/3 innings.

Thole, a 26-year-old catcher who has spent his first four big-league seasons with the Mets, played in 104 games last season, batting a .234.

Jones goes to Japan

Andruw Jones is headed to Japan.

The five-time All-Star outfielder has finalized a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Rakuten Eagles of Japan's Pacific League. The team announced the move on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Jones became a free agent after spending the past two seasons as a part-time player with the New York Yankees. He appeared in 94 games this year, batting.197 with 14 home runs.

Once one of the premier players in the big leagues, Jones broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998-07 as their center fielder. He has 434 career home runs over 17 seasons in the majors and could provide a boost for the Eagles, whose 52 homers were the fewest in Japan last season.

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