The Diamondbacks seem to have picked up their biggest item on their offseason shopping list – a veteran starter – by signing former Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy.
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The D’backs and McCarthy came to an agreement on a two-year deal worth $15.5 million. That deal could end up being quite a steal for the Diamondbacks. McCarthy probably would have signed a much larger deal had he not been injured on a come-back line drive on Sept 5th of last season. McCarthy was hit in the head with the line drive which resulted in a fractured skull, a brain contusion and bleeding in the brain. The injuries were severe enough, that surgery was needed. However, McCarthy was able to recover and was cleared to resume baseball activities in early November.
McCarthy owns a career 4.02 ERA, all with the A’s, but has really come on strong the last couple of years. He recorded a 3.32 ERA in 170.2 innings pitched in 2011 and 3.24 ERA in 2012 before the injury. Much of the improvement was due to McCarthy’s improvement when it came to walking batters. Prior to 2011, McCarthy recorded only one season of below 3 walks per 9 innings pitched (2.3 in his rookie season). However, in 2011 and 2012, he had 1.3 and 1.9 BB/9 IP ratios, respectively. That is elite level control and something that should be sustainable over the next two years, if he can stay healthy. If McCarthy keeps up that type of production, the $7.75 million he will be paid each of the next two years will be one of the best values in the game.
McCarthy joins Ian Kennedy, Trevor Cahill and Wade Miley as presumptive starters in the D’backs’ rotation with one spot up for grabs between Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin barring another trade or acquisition.