On Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced their latest free agent signing by inking right-hander Brandon McCarthy to a four-year deal.
McCarthy immediately fills the void left when Dan Haren was traded to the Miami Marlins and is currently slotted as the team’s fourth starter. The four years came as a bit of a surprise given McCarthy’s injured past, but general manager Farhan Zaidi was thinking of the future with the deal.
In a conference call, Zaidi had a simple answer as to why they signed him for that long:
We’re looking for some long-term solutions.”
Zaidi mentioned the fact that Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw both have opt-out clauses in their contracts. Having McCarthy guaranteed for four seasons gives the team a sense of security for the future. While Kershaw’s opt-out isn’t until 2018, Greinke can choose to leave the deal following the 2015 season. The right-hander would turn down a guaranteed $77 million over the final three years of his deal, although another strong season could prompt teams to give him more money and more years if he does opt out. McCarthy gives the Dodgers at least three starting pitchers under contract through 2018, joining Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers were comfortable giving McCarthy that many years because they believe 2014 was indicative of what is to be expected. He threw 200 innings for the first time in his career and added two miles an hour to his fastball.
Zaidi confirmed the Dodgers trust in the right-hander, who credits a new offseason training regimen as the reason for his success:
We feel pretty good about him turning the corner”
If McCarthy can come in and give the Dodgers 200 innings in the fourth slot of the rotation, it would be more than they could ask for. McCarthy will soon be joined by another talented pitcher that has dealt with injuries in the past as Brett Anderson will reportedly sign a one-year deal to pitch in Los Angeles.