When Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos flew to Nashville in December of 2012 to get up close and personal with R.A. Dickey, he convinced the Cy Young Award winner over dinner to accept a trade to Toronto, and an extension, based on the team’s willingness to do what was necessary to win a championship over the course of the contract.

But what does Dickey think now, after this year’s polar vortex winter chill on Jays’ transactions? Is he worried?

“I wasn’t necessarily panicking,” Dickey said of his quiet winter, with no trips to India or climbing of Kilimanjaro on his agenda. “I don’t think that would be the word. I was certainly observing because I felt like we needed a guy that could really churn out a lot of innings.

“We needed another innings eater, a guy that (manager John Gibbons) could trust every fifth day to go out there and give us six to seven innings. In the AL East, it’s a difficult chore. As they evaluated where (Drew Hutchison) was and where (Marcus) Stroman may be and Brandon Morrow too, coming back from his injury, I think they realized that they may not have to go out and get it. That it probably was going to be able to come from within in some shape or form. Whatever form that takes, we’ll see.”

Even without the Jays adding either Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana, Dickey takes refuge in another scenario, an underdog story that plays itself out as the 2014 season progresses. He is high on one or both of Hutchison and Todd Redmond being a wild card for the Jays.

“I do know that from a pitching standpoint, every year you look on a championship ballclub and you have that one guy, and sometimes it’s two guys, that you never really were going to count on, that give you an incredible contribution. I think there’s a couple of guys in the locker room presently who have that ability and frankly, we need it.

“Every team needs a guy like that that you weren’t necessarily counting on for big wins, big starts, big innings that ends up giving you those things and next thing you know you’re in the playoffs. We’ve got guys like Hutch and Redmond that are itching for an opportunity that have the stuff to be able to make a big contribution.”