The Braves made the first move this offseason by signing R.A. Dickey to a one-year deal. Can Dickey reclaim some fantasy relevance in 2017?
The Atlanta Braves were the first team on the board this offseason. With much need in the rotation, the team decided not to waste much time and sign R.A. Dickey to a one-year deal. Can the 42-year-old knuckleball pitcher revive his career and fantasy value in Hotlanta?
After bouncing around from Texas, Seattle and Minnesota, Dickey found great success with the New York Mets in just three seasons. He won the Cy Young and made an All-Star game appearance in 2012. Dickey had a 2.94 ERA, 1.150 WHIP and 39-28 record.
He was then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and had a decent four seasons. Dickey finished with a 49-52 record, 4.05 ERA and 1.251 WHIP. This past season was the big downfall for Dickey. He made just 29 starts, his fewest since 2010, with a 4.46 ERA and 1.367 WHIP.
Dickey had a 14.7 HR/FB rate and 30 percent hard hit rate. Both the highest he recorded since his 2006 season.
A decline in his fastball and power in the American League East probably contributed to the increased power against him.
The Braves needed starting pitching help, and they couldn’t afford the few big-name free agents on the market.
The rotation had a 4.87 ERA (28th in the league), 1.33 WHIP (15th), 135 home runs (ninth) and 684 strikeouts (27th).
Dickey isn’t a superstar pitcher from a fantasy standpoint. Though, going to Atlanta is not the best landing spot. We all remember what happened to Shelby Miller. He had great peripherals, but the offense could not support him.
Dickey will have to be an innings eater for the Braves. He logged over 200 innings from 2011 to 2015. He reached just 169.2 innings last season, but would have gotten a lot closer if he made four or five more starts.
If Dickey can get more swinging strikes on pitches outside of the strike zone, 27.9 percent last season, then he will be a more effective pitcher. With the struggles the National League East hitters went through, outside of the Washington Nationals, then he could post some good numbers.
Dickey is worth a speculative add in standard leagues. Going deeper, he will be drafted as a fourth or fifth starting pitcher. Just make sure you play in a quality starts league.