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Blue Jays in the hunt for knuckleballer Dickey: Report

New York Mets' starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in San Diego, California in this August 3, 2012 file photo. Dickey won the National League Cy Young Award in 2012 becoming the first knuckleball pitcher to win the award.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS reported Friday night that Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos was close to agreeing to a trade for 38-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, the New York Mets' reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.

The Mets, who have spoken to the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles about Dickey, have said the starting point for any discussion is two major-league-ready position players, which has led to suggestions that either of two catchers, J.P. Arencibia or Travis D'Arnaud, and outfielder Anthony Gose would be included in any package for Dickey.

There is familiarity with the Blue Jays' system on the part of the Mets, as former Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi is now a special assistant to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, and former Blue Jays farm director Dick Scott is now the Mets' minor-league field co-ordinator.

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The market for Dickey picked up after the Angels signed outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125-million (U.S.) contract, which raised the possibility of Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo being put on the market. A major-league source speculated that it is possible the Blue Jays are trying to expand the deal with the Mets.

Anthopoulos, who did not close the door on adding payroll at the winter meetings, did not respond to e-mail messages asking for comment, and a Blue Jays spokesman said the team would not comment on rumours.

Dickey, who was scheduled to make $5-million this season in his last year before free agency, has asked for a two-year, $26-million contract from the Mets, who have offered $20-million over two years. He would likely want more from the Blue Jays, whose 2013 payroll is already expected to be more than $120-million.

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