2014 Statistics: 4.05 ERA, 200 IP, 7.88 K/9, 3.55 FIP, 3.0 WAR
2015 Age: 31, turns 32 on July 7th
Position: Right-handed starting pitcher
Brian Cashman pulled off one of his better moves as Yankees GM when he traded Vidal Nuno to the Diamondbacks for Brandon McCarthy and cash. In 109.2 innings out in Arizona, McCarthy had struggled to the tune of a 5.01 ERA before trading in the desert for pinstripes. The McCarthy that the Yankees got was everything that they could have hoped for, pitching to a 2.89 ERA in 90.1 innings to close out the year. It might not matter too much on the baseball field, but McCarthy also brought delight to New York in the form of his and his wife Amanda's tweets. And, of course, their Westie named Hobbes help too. McCarthy's success on the field, coupled with the fact that the Yankees' rotation for next season leaves a lot to be desired, makes a reunion between the two seems like a no-brainer. Comments toward the end of the season seemed to suggest that McCarthy was comfortable enough in New York to sign a new deal with the club, and rumor has it that he is among the team's top priorities this offseason.
McCarthy is coming off a two-year deal that he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks that was worth $15.5 million. Being traded during the season ensures that draft pick compensation is not tied to his signing, which could drive the price up a bit for potential suitors. This past season was the first time that McCarthy was able to top 150 innings since his 2011 season with the Oakland Athletics. That being the case, a deal in the range of three years or so seems like a pretty good starting point. If the Yankees truly have no interest in the other big names on the free agent pitching market, like Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, and James Shields, then re-signing McCarthy becomes all the more important. He solidifies another spot in the rotation that would otherwise be left as a question mark at best.
A lot of credit for McCarthy's turnaround is attributed to the fact that he started to use his cutter again after being traded to the Yankees despite being discouraged from throwing it during his time in Arizona. If that is true, then it seems reasonable to believe that the McCarthy we saw in pinstripes is a little closer to the McCarthy we can expect in 2015. The guy we all saw pitch down the stretch for the Yankees would be a huge asset to the team next season, and the rumors to this point seem to suggest that the Yankees agree. Hopefully they can reach a deal with one another before too long.