Finding out that Brian Cashman was able to get a human with a pulse for Vidal Nuno will easily be the most stunning part of my day. Nuno had been really bad in the Yankees' rotation, and continuing to throw him out in a park that did nothing to stop him from giving up far too many homers was not going to get this team where they'd like to be. CC Sabathia isn't coming back this season, if ever, and who knows what the status of Michael Pineda is. Like a thief in the night, Brian Cashman convinced Kevin Towers to part with a pitcher with a pulse for nothing more than Nuno while throwing in cash for the contract on top of it. Genius!
A glance at Brandon McCarthy's numbers this season may cause people to recoil in fear a bit. It looks like bad pitcher for bad pitcher on paper, but there are reasons to be optimistic. McCarthy got off to a fairly horrendous start with the Diamondbacks this season, posting a 5.38 ERA and a 1-10 record. His peripherals scream that he should be better than he has been, and he's only given up three earned runs in his last two starts. Hopefully that is the first sign that regression is coming for him, just at the right time. His groundball rate of 55.3% will play better in Yankee Stadium, even with a shaky infield trying to field behind him. His home run numbers are elevated, but so were Nuno's. If you have to bet on one to be better going forward, I know which one I'm picking.
There have been injury concerns with McCarthy that have kept him from making more than 25 starts in a season. He current sits at 14 for 2014 with 109.2 innings under his belt. The Yankees' rotation has been decimated by injury so far, but with Sabathia and Nova on the shelf for the remainder of the year and Whitley rapidly accruing more innings than he has ever pitched before, something had to be done and fast. Hopefully this year proves to be the year that McCarthy is able to stay healthy enough to get over his 25-start hump.
This isn't the move that the Yankees needed to make to get themselves into the playoffs, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. They needed a pitcher and got one without giving up anything of real value. It's a steal. More moves will need to be made in the near future for this team to stay in the playoff hunt, but grabbing a pitcher whose numbers suggest they will be better in the second half for pennies on the dollar is a really good way to kickoff trade season for New York. For all the heat that Cashman gets for his trades, and I'm sure someone will find a way to quibble with this one, he did a fine job here. Hopefully he has a few more tricks up his sleeve yet to come.