R.A. Dickey returned to the United States on Tuesday after successfully reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro last week.
Dickey’s former teammate and current Rockies right-hander Kevin Slowey and Mets bullpen catcher Dave Raccaniello also participated in the climb, which was part of an effort to raise money and awareness for the Bombay Teen Challenge, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking in India.
You’ll recall that the Mets sent a letter to Dickey prior to the climb reminding him that they could void his contract in the event that he suffers an injury. Well, they quickly made amends with the knuckleballer once it was clear he was out of harm’s way. Dickey told David Waldstein of the New York Times that the group surpassed their goal of raising $100,000 with the help of a donation from Mets’ CEO Jeff Wilpon.
“He offered his congratulations and made a generous contribution,” Dickey said. “I understood their concerns, and I thought it was a great gesture on their part to help out in the end.”
Well done all around. While the immediate future doesn’t look very promising for the Mets, they are pretty darn fortunate to have someone like Dickey representing the organization.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.