While the Los Angeles Dodgers were in the process of trading Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres, they also worked to address their pitching need in the form of Brandon McCarthy.
The free agent right-hander began last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and struggled, but improved after being traded to the New York Yankees. The Yankees were among the teams interested in McCarthy, but returning to Southern California and pitching for the Dodgers was something he said he couldn’t pass up.
Of course, McCarthy signing with the Dodgers wasn’t a move completely based on sentiment as his childhood team gave him a four-year, $48 million contract. According to Greg Beacham of the AP, McCarthy’s deal includes a signing bonus and a lesser salary if he’s on the disabled list for an extended period of time:
McCarthy gets a $6 million signing bonus with half payable by Jan. 15 and the rest by Feb. 15, and salaries of $11 million in 2015 and 2016, dropping to $10 million in 2017 and 2018. The Dodgers get some injury protection in the form of a conditional club option at $5 million if he spends 180 or more days on disabled list as a result of an injury to his pitching shoulder related to stress fracture or a reaction injury during 2015-18. The option price would increase to $8 million if the DL time is from 120-179 days from 2015-18.
McCarthy has battled multiple injuries throughout his nine-career and last season was the first time he pitched 200 innings in one year. He spoke of altering his training regimen to include more weight lifting and thus a strong upper body, which played a role in him remaining healthy.
McCarthy finished last season 10-15 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, however he was 7-5 and had a 2.89 ERA and 1.15 WHIP during his time with the Yankees. Should he manage to carry over his success from New York to Los Angeles, McCarthy will fit in nicely at the backend of the Dodgers’ rotation for years to come, just as general manager Farhan Zaidi envisions.