Sports briefs: Dec. 18

December 18, 2012 


Mets trade Cy Young winner Dickey to Blue Jays

R.A. Dickey tweeted his own trade Monday, with the NL Cy Young winner thanking New York Mets fans for their backing and saying he was all set to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays.

"Now that its official, I want to say that I don't have the words to express how grateful I am to you for the steadfast support," Dickey posted on Twitter. "Thank you for making me feel wanted."

"Looking forward to a new chapter with the Jays," he wrote.

Toronto acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and catcher John Buck, plus minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.

Earlier in the day, Dickey and the busy Blue Jays agreed to a new contract, clearing the way for the Mets to send him to a team that's spending a lot of money trying to join baseball's elite.

Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year. The Mets began to look at trade possibilities for the 20-game winner when the sides couldn't agree to extend his deal for two more seasons.

Toronto said his contract from 2013-15 was worth $29 million and had a club option for 2016 at $12 million. Dickey needed to pass a physical before the teams announced the deal.

The Blue Jays have missed the playoffs since winning their second straight World Series crown in 1993, and have boldly moved to reshape a team that went 73-89 last season in the rugged AL East.

Last month, they acquired a high-priced trio of All-Stars — pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes — in a 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins.

Toronto then signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, an All-Star outfielder with San Francisco whose season ended when he was suspended 50 games for a positive testosterone test.

Dickey was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season, capping his rapid rise from the majors' scrap heap to an ace pitcher. He did it by perfecting a way to throw his floater faster than previous knuckleballers, and tossing it with exceptional control.

Dickey becomes part of a stellar rotation that includes Johnson, Buehrle and returning starters Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.

Thole gives the Blue Jays a catcher who is familiar with handling Dickey's knuckleball. He joined a lineup that features former home run champ Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who hit 42 homers last season.

D'Arnaud turns 24 in February. He hit .333 at Triple-A Las Vegas with 16 homers and 52 RBI before tearing a knee ligament trying to break up a double play in June. He has been an All-Star at several levels during his climb through the minors.

■ The Detroit Tigers agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez helped Detroit reach the World Series this year. He had a 1.77 ERA in 201⁄3 innings over three post-season starts, but was 1-2 because the Tigers were shut out in each of his losses.

Detroit acquired the 28-year-old Venezuelan in July from Miami along with second baseman Omar Infante for right-hander Jacob Turner and two minor leaguers. He is 48-51 with a 3.75 ERA since making his major league debut with the Marlins in 2006.

■ Sources told The Associated Press that the Oakland Athletics agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions.Nakajima agreed to a $6.5 million, two-year contract.

Nakajima, a seven-time Pacific League All-Star, has a .302 batting average with 149 home runs, 664 RBIs and 134 stolen bases over 11 seasons with Seibu.

■ The Houston Astros wanted to add power to their lineup and a veteran presence to their young team. They think they got both by signing Carlos Pena.

"We think that he's going to be a big contributor for us on the field as well as in the clubhouse next year," General Manager Jeff Luhnow said.

Pena will be the Astros' designated hitter, addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League. But Luhnow said Pena could also play first base.

The 34-year-old Pena, who spent last season in his second stint with Tampa Bay, hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI in 2012. Terms of the one-year deal were not released.

College football

Cincinnati QB Kay gets an extra season

The NCAA granted Cincinnati senior quarterback Brendon Kay an extra season of eligibility, giving the Bearcats a proven passer heading into their first year under Coach Tommy Tuberville.

Kay replaced the struggling Munchie Legaux last season and helped Cincinnati win a share of the Big East title and a berth in the Belk Bowl. The Bearcats went 3-1 in Kay's four starts.

Kay was hurt repeatedly during his college career, missing time in 2008 and 2011. He was limited to six career games heading into this season. He went 70-for-113 for 966 yards and six touchdowns after replacing Legaux, a junior. Kay is expected to start in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27 against Duke.

■ West Virginia's record-breaking receiver Stedman Bailey will forgo his final season to enter the NFL Draft. Bailey will end his college career owning the majority of West Virginia's receiving records after three full seasons. The junior finished the 2012 regular season with 106 receptions, 1,501 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns, and was a second-team All-American.

■ Western Michigan hired 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Fleck has worked for Bucs Coach Greg Schiano the past three years. Fleck was the receivers coach at Rutgers before following Schiano to Tampa Bay this season to do the same job.

Fleck played receiver for Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and spent two seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers before starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State under Jim Tressel in 2006. He spent three seasons as wide receivers coach at NIU before being hired by Schiano in 2010.

He surpasses Matt Campbell of Toledo as the youngest head coach in the FBS. Campbell turned 33 in November. Newly hired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury also turned 33 this year. Fleck turned 32 in November.

High school basketball

3 score 20-plus in Scott Co. girls' win

Scott County's girls outscored Tates Creek 31-15 at the free-throw line in an 89-77 victory in Georgetown. Rachel Young, who was 12-for-15 from the line, scored a team-high 26 points to go with 10 rebounds and four assists for the Cardinals. Tereka Guyn had a double-double with 20 points and 19 rebounds, and Danielle DeFoor scored 21 points.

Oney Harrison and Katie Pippen scored 28 and 22 points, respectively, for Tates Creek. Pippen also had nine rebounds and three steals.

■ Newport Central Catholic junior Nicole Kiernan had a triple-double — 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocked shots — in a 65-55 win at home against Bishop Brossart.

Boys' highlights:

Bardstown outscored Tates Creek by 10 in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 60-48 victory in Lexington. Keanu Young led Bardstown with 16 points. Jordan Fucci had 15 for the Commodores.

Lukas Greenhill hit the game-winning three-pointer as time expired in Mason County's 63-62 victory against East Carter.

■ The boys' basketball game between West Jessamine and Lexington Christian scheduled for Tuesday night at LCA was postponed and no reschedule date had been determined.

The last word

Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is unsure of his status with the team for next season just 14 months since signing a six-year, $59 million contract extension. Fitzpatrick said, when asked if he feels he's done enough to merit another shot at being the team's starter:

"Yeah, that's a great question. Unfortunately, the product on the field and the results, especially the win-loss record, isn't where it needs to be. ... The last two games are important."

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