All-time Mariners' pitching staff of best players who got away

To close out this 3-part series, we work our way onto the mound diving into the best pitching staff the Mariners could have, and should have, held onto.

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners
Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners / Stephen Brashear/GettyImages
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R.A. Dickey
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics / Jed Jacobsohn/GettyImages

SP - R.A Dickey - Left via Free Agency in 2008, signing with the Minnesota Twins.

Like many Knuckle-Ballers throughout MLB history, R.A. Dickey did not have immediate or long-lasting success. As a 1st-round pick by the Texas Rangers in 1996, the once-touted phenom struggled with the injury bug and had to get creative. That is when he learned his secret sauce to make it in the Big Leagues. Life as a knuckleball pitcher is full of ups and downs, and not many people know that as well as Dickey.

He bounced from team to team, even flip-flopping between the Twins and Mariners multiple times between 2007-2009. It wasn't until around 2010, nearly 15 years after being drafted, that the New York Mets gave the 35-year-old a shot. Dickey found his stride with the Mets and even wound up winning the N.L. Cy Young Award in 2012.

I can't blame the Mariners' Front Office for not knowing that R.A. Dickey would become a Cy Young-winning pitcher or even a pitcher who would last much longer in the league. No one could have anticipated him doing what he did during this time frame, but props to him for never giving up on his dreams and for having the will to be creative to do so. Welcome to our all-time lineup, R.A.