R.A. Dickey broke the news on Twitter before the Blue Jays and the Mets announced… (Alex Trautwig / Getty Images )
Eager for a new challenge and certainly a better chance to win, R.A. Dickey broke the news of his trade even before the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets.
A few minutes ahead of the teams' announcing the seven-player swap Monday that sent the National League Cy Young Award winner to Toronto, he tweeted his thanks to Mets fans and added he was all set to pitch for the Blue Jays.
Toronto acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets received 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. Toronto has now acquired All-Stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera and Dickey since the season ended.
Dickey was already signed for $5.25 million next year. His new contract adds two more seasons for $25 million — he will get $12 million in both 2014 and 2015, plus there's a club option for 2016 at $12 million with a $1-million buyout.
Two people with knowledge of the negotiations say the Oakland Athletics agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because there had yet to be a formal announcement.
Nakajima agreed to a $6.5-million, two-year contract. The deal also includes a $5.5-million option for a third season, one of the people said.
The Houston Astros signed veteran Carlos Pena to be their designated hitter as they prepare for their first season in the American League.
The 34-year-old Pena, who spent last season in his second stint with Tampa Bay, batted .197 with 19homeruns and 61 RBIs in 2012. Terms were not released.
The Angels signed utility infield candidate Luis Rodriguez, 32, to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training camp. Rodriguez, who will compete with Andrew Romine and others for the reserve infield job that opened when Maicer Izturis left as a free agent, has a .238 average and .314 on-base percentage in 972 major league at-bats over six seasons with Minnesota, San Diego and Seattle.
Vonn to take a break after illness
Lindsey Vonn is heading back to the United States for an unexpected break in the middle of the World Cup ski season and is unlikely to return to Europe until January.
After a weekend of disappointing results at a World Cup meet in France, the four-time overall champion said in a statement on her Facebook page that she needs to get her full strength back before returning to the slopes in the new year.
Vonn stayed two nights at a hospital in Vail, Colo., in November after suffering from severe intestinal pain.
Western Michigan has hired 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school was not yet ready to make an announcement.
Paul Haynes, who was Arkansas' defensive coordinator this season, was hired by Kent State as its head coach, the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.
Haynes will succeed Darrell Hazell, who became the new head coach at Purdue.
West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey is forgoing his final season to make himself available for the NFL draft.
Frank Pastore, a former major league pitcher who became a popular Christian radio show host, has died.
Radio station KKLA said that Pastore died Monday, nearly a month after he was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. He was 55.