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12/24/08 5:49 PM EST

Dickey, Twins agree to terms

Knuckleballer lands Minors contract with Spring Training invite

The Twins have always felt that a knuckleball pitcher would be successful in the Metrodome. And in the Twins' final year inside the Dome in 2009, the club could have one on its staff.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey told MLB.com on Wednesday that he's agreed to terms on a contract with the Twins. It's a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training. As a six-year Minor League free agent who has service time, Dickey will be paid one level of salary while he's in the Majors and another for the time he'd be in the Minors.

Dickey, 34, went 5-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 32 appearances (14 starts) for the Mariners last season. Seattle had expressed interest in bringing Dickey back, but he felt there was a better chance to play a key role with the Twins.

"It's not that there wasn't opportunity in Seattle," Dickey said. "But I feel like there's more opportunity in Minnesota for me, which is all based on the way they pursued me and how hard they pursued me. They were very forthright about where they thought I would fit in."

The Twins have been searching for ways to bolster their bullpen this winter, and the addition of Dickey will give them another look in the bullpen. Although Dickey has the ability to be a starter, he was much more effective as a reliever for the Mariners, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his 18 relief outings.

Dickey is no stranger to the Twins, either. The team signed him as a Minor League free agent after the 2007 season, but they lost him a short time later when the Mariners selected him in the Rule 5 Draft last December.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.