The A's lost a beloved player today today. Fortunately, at least it was to an NL team.
Just call them the Arizona A's. As is current custom, another A's player will wear a Diamondbacks uniform next year. After Beane completed a trade earlier this year, sending Cliff Pennington + Yordy Cabrera over to the desert for Chris Young, Kevin Towers decided he would simply sign another A's alum. It has been reported that Brandon McCarthy will play for the Diamondbacks next year and in 2014. The contract breaks down as follows, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick:
Brandon McCarthy's contract breakdown with #dbacks: $2.5M signing bonus, salaries of $4M and $9M for total of $15.5M.
It's probably a better deal than the A's were willing to give, given their relative starting pitching depth. That said, depth is indeed a relative term. As it stands right now, the A's have 6 (or 7, depending on what you think of Travis Blackley) potential starters for 2013:
When you think about it, 6-7 guys isn't that many. One of these guys is bound to get injured, or be too ineffective to use for more than 20 starts. Need I remind you, the A's used 9 different starters last year. If the A's need 9 starters again... that's not going to go over well. After that, maybe recently-acquired Andrew Werner can step in for a spot start or two? Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray still need more AAA seasoning before they can be trusted with MLB hitters, if they work out at all.
So, it seems that the A's might have to dig into the old scrap heap. Perhaps Shaun Marcum is available, although he is likely as expensive as McCarthy. He also has health issues that are well-documented, but like McCarthy also, is extremely effective when healthy. Other options include Carlos Villanueva, Francisco Liriano, Kevin Correia, and Jair Jurrgens. All those guys have their warts, but then again, they come sort of cheap and that's what the A's like.
All that aside, McCarthy was one of my favorite A's of all time and I wish him well in Arizona. He has some job security now, and he and Amanda will be also be reunited with their friends, the Cahills. That's going to be one intelligent starting rotation right there.
What do you think - do the A's need another starter? If so, who? Also, if you'd just like to leave well-wishes for the McCarthys, that's okay, too.