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Last season, Brandon McCarthy was finally showing fans why he was such a highly touted pitching prospect, until his cranium was turned into a piñata by a blistering line drive off the bat of Angels shortstop Erick Aybar.
McCarthy has finally recovered from the baseball-off- the-noggin incident and should be a prime free agent target for teams looking for a guy with potential number-two starter stuff, and number-four starter stats. Let’s look at some places he might end up:
1. Minnesota Twins –My beloved Twins are in desperate, desperate need of a starting pitcher, lest Minnesota fans face another season with a rotation that includes the right-handed war crime known as Nick Blackburn. McCarthy is very much a Minnesota Twins type pitcher (i.e. great control, pitches to contact, can’t strike anyone out, not even Mark Reynolds.) The club has been in touch with McCarthy’s agent. If the price is right, you could see Brandon McCarthy at Target Field in 2013.
2. Chicago Cubs – Yes, they’re still the Cubs, but with Theo Epstein running the show, getting free agents to the North Side shouldn’t be an issue. The Cubs quietly have put together a good, young infield and McCarthy would be a good change of pace rotation option between hard throwing right-handers Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija. But Epstein built the Red Sox into World Series champs by mitigating risk through statistical analysis. Would he really be willing to sign someone with McCarthy’s injury history to a deal with an average salary of at least $10 Million? That’s probably what someone will offer McCarthy. And I think that someone will be, the…
3. Chicago White Sox – Unlike their northern Windy City neighbors, the White Sox do not have a history of fiscal restraint (see Linebrink, Scott). The White Sox are desperate for pitching, as evidenced by their midseason trade last year for the mercurial (and often horrible) Francisco Liriano. A ground ball pitcher like McCarthy would likely do well pitching at US Cellular field, especially with the Sox talented defensive middle infield. Plus, the White Sox originally drafted McCarthy, so we already know they like him. That’s why I think McCarthy will sign a deal in the range of 3 yrs/36 Million with Chicago’s AL squad.
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