TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Toronto Blue Jays bolstered an already formidable starting rotation by acquiring reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey in a seven-player swap with the New York Mets, the team said on Monday.
Dickey, a 38-year-old knuckleball pitcher who went 20-6 with a 2.73 earned-run average last season, is the centerpiece of a trade that also sends catcher Josh Thole and a prospect to Toronto, the Blue Jays said in a statement.
The deal, which was contingent upon Dickey securing a three-year, $29 million extension from the Blue Jays, sends catcher John Buck, blue-chip prospects Travis D'Arnaud (catcher) and Noah Syndergaard (pitcher) and another prospect to New York.
The acquisition marks the third major offseason move by a Blue Jays team that is suddenly a contender in the American League East after years of toiling near the bottom of a tough division that includes the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. (Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Frank Pingue)