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 NL Cy Young 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 got top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and catcher John Buck, plus minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.

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.

Sanchez stays put

Anibal Sanchez hadn't gone anywhere, really, and yet here he was getting a big "welcome back" from Detroit Tigers President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski.

"It's nice to have you back in that jersey again," Dombrowski said Monday to his righthander.

It wasn't cheap.

Detroit's deal with Sanchez is worth $80 million over five years, a person familiar with it told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms weren't announced. The team said it has an option for a sixth season.

Houston signs Pena

The Houston Astros wanted to add power to their lineup and a veteran presence to their young team. They think they got both by signing Carlos Pena on Monday.

"We believe he is exactly the kind of player we need in this organization at this time," General Manager Jeff Luhnow said.

Pena will be the Astros' designated hitter, addressing a key need 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, hit .197 with 19 home runs and 61 RBI in 2012. Terms of the one-year deal were not released.


• The impasse between first baseman Adam LaRoche and the Washington Nationals has lasted since October. LaRoche wants a three-year deal in free agency and the Nationals are unwilling to offer more than two. Despite hope late last week of a possible thaw, no resolution appears close.

• Two people with knowledge of the negotiations say the Oakland Athletics have agreed to sign shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions. There has been no formal announcement.

• Free agent Nick Swisher is visiting the Cleveland Indians, who have a hole to fill in right field. The former Yankee will tour the team's facilities at Progressive Field on Tuesday.