New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey capped off his improbable season last Wednesday when he was named winner of the National League’s 2012 Cy Young award.
Now the question is will the 38-year-old righthander be around at Citi Field down the road, or even this coming year.
Dickey got 27 of 32 possible first place votes, easily outdistancing runner-up and defending Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He has one year left on his contract worth $5 million. And while published reports say the team is mulling a two-year offer to their surprise ace, there also is talk that General Manager Sandy Alderson may do what he did so often and so well — trade an established pitcher for multiple young prospects who can help the team down the road at a number of positions for years to come.
Dickey, who joined the Mets three years ago as a castoff journeyman, went 20-5 and was a National League All-Star.
He led the league with 230 strikeouts, 233.2 innings pitched and three shutouts, was second in the league with a 2.73 earned run average and tied for second most victories in the majors.
In June he became the first pitcher since 1944 to throw consecutive one-hitters.
“I owe so much to my teammates for their support during the year,” Dickey said in a statement released by the Mets, singling out his catchers, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas.
“I’d like to thank the fans,” Dickey said. “They stood by me every time I took the mound. I wouldn’t have won this award without them.”
Mets fan Steve Szewczyk of Ridgewood said he would congratulate Dickey for winning the award. But he also said there could be a benefit to trading him while his market value is likely at its height.
“If the right package came along that could bring value in a couple of positions where they have needs, like the outfield or catcher, I’d consider trading him,” he said.
As for All-Star third baseman David Wright, who also has a year remaining on his contract, Szewczyk was a lot more hesitant, saying the Mets would have to be knocked out by the players and prospects coming back to Flushing.
“I wouldn’t say Wright is untouchable, but ...”
Dickey joins Tom Seaver in 1969, 1973 and 1975, and Dwight Gooden in 1985 as the only pitchers to earn the Cy Young award as New York Mets.
“R.A. is a great teammate, a fierce competitor and even a better human being,” said manager Terry Collins in the club’s statement. “No one deserves this award more than him.”
Dickey was a No. 1 pick of the Texas Rangers in 1996. He bounced around minor league stops between hitches with the Rangers, Twins and Mariners.
When he joined the Mets prior to the 2010 season he had a record of 22-28, and had never won more than nine games in a season.
Last offseason, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for charity. He also became a best-selling author, writing a biography in which he detailed being a victim of sexual abuse as a child. He also has a deal to write three children’s books.