Former Toronto Blue Jays Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey Heads to Atlanta on one-year Deal
ATLANTA — R.A. Dickey was won over by an Atlanta Braves sales team that included two Hall of Famers, including a fellow knuckleballer.
Dickey said he knew the Braves would be a good fit after meeting in Nashville, 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.
Rich Schultz / Getty ImagesDickey said the velocities on his knuckleball “were as high as they’ve ever been” and he expects to pitch 200 innings in 2017.
No one had double-figure wins for Atlanta this year, prompting Coppolella to say he will pursue at least two established starters on the free-agent market. Julio Teheran heads a rotation projected to include Josh Collmenter.
Dickey is 110-108 with a 4.01 ERA in his career. He logged at least 200 innings five straight seasons from 2011 to 2015. Since 2010, his 1,441 innings rank ninth in the majors.
He said it was a challenge to pitch in the AL East’s small parks and said the rebuilding Braves’ potential in their new SunTrust Park in suburban Atlanta was a selling point.