Why couldn't the A's work out a deal for Dickey? He hasn't been inked long term yet, and there's many in the N.Y. media that seem to think that the Mets are hesitant to sign him long term because of his age and the fact that he relies on a novelty pitch, fearing, I suppose, that poof, he could turn into Tim Wakefield any moment.
I happen to love the guy. Yes, I read his book, which was sappy and poorly written, but still managed to intrigue and inspire - but that's not the reason I love him. At least, not the whole reason. I love him because he throws an 82mph knuckleball. Now, anyone who's a fan of the pitch like I am, and has watched their fair share of knuckleballers from Phil Niekro and Charlie Hough to Tim Wakefield and Tom Candiotti (of course) knows that it is exceedingly rare for a guy to throw a knuckleball at that velocity. R.A. not only throws one of his knucklers that hard, but he throws it effectively, with tons of movement, and for strikes. He also throws one that falls in around 70mph and another that is a traditional slow floater at around 60-65 mph. That combined with a fastball that can touch 89-90mph, a rubber arm, and a bulldog mentality on the mound, makes him the perfect veteran "been there, done that" pitcher to prop up the top of our young rotation along side Colon.
Lets face it. The free agent pitching pool this off season is shallow, and there's a good chance McCarthy gets lured somewhere else like the White Sox, Cubs, or Orioles. If that's the case, I'd love to take a shot at Dickey. He's not under contract beyond this year, which is a shame, because there's nary a chance we'll be able to afford a long term deal with him, but it also means he'll be slightly cheaper despite his Cy Young caliber season last year. The Mets might be willing to send him our way for Crisp and a couple of prospects - maybe Strailly and Green? His fly ball tendencies profile well for the O.co and unlike our other starters, he's an extreme strike out pitcher. He also practically guarantees the bullpen a day of rest every 5 days.
I think Dickey is an exceptional pitcher. I know he's only come into himself very late in his career, but he is still relatively young for a knuckleballer, and he's got a great personality and leadership qualities for the clubhouse. If he were to become available, I think he'd be a huge pick up for the A's.