Blue Jays making R.A. Dickey available?

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The Blue Jays acquired reliever Drew Storen from the Nationals last night for outfielder Ben Revere. It was the first significant trade for new Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, but he might already be working on his next deal.

Check out these tweets from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590/The Fan, which at least suggest the possibility of a deal involving R.A. Dickey:

After strengthening their bullpen with the addition of Storen, the Blue Jays now have the proper depth to give Aaron Sanchez another shot in the starting rotation. Moving Dickey would officially clear the way for him. That would be a bit risky, but this could also partially be about the budget, as Dickey is owed $12 million in 2016. Who knows if anything will come out of this chatter, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Acquired from the Mets after winning the NL Cy Young Award in 2012, Dickey owns a 3.95 ERA in 101 starts over three seasons with the Blue Jays. The 41-year-old knuckleballer has logged at least 214 1/3 innings in each of the last four seasons. Only Clayton Kershaw has thrown more innings in that timespan.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.