Team USA will begin play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic on Friday when the first pitch flutters and floats its way toward the plate. U.S. manager Joe Torre announced Monday that knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will start the team's opener on Friday at 9 p.m. ET against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Dickey, 38, captured the National League Cy Young Award with the Mets last year after he compiled a 20-6 record with a 2.73 ERA while tossing five complete games, including three shutouts. He paced the NL with 230 strikeouts and 233 2/3 innings and earned his first All-Star Game nod.

In December, the Mets dealt him to Toronto for a trio of prospects -- Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Wilmer Becerra -- and catcher John Buck. Dickey joins a restructured rotation that includes winter additions Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, as well as Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.

Torre opted for Dickey over Rangers southpaw Derek Holland, Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler.