"So then I said, ya, ok, so I 'like' like you!"
"OMG, did they say they 'like' you back???"
"Well, I think maybe possibly yes."
"He said that???"
"No, but he told Shari to tell Dori and she totally implied it to me."
"Hopefully they'll call...or tweet...or 'facebook' something soon!"
Middle school dating, or long term contract for a major league pitcher? What, there's a difference? Susan Slusser reported this morning that Brandon McCarthy is open to a multi-year contract extension. The question is, do the A's feel the same way and if so, what kind of deal might constitute a "win-win"?
First off, I'm guessing the A's are interested. They value pitching highly and have not shied away from taking chances on oft-injured pitchers such as Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer. McCarthy offers a rare veteran presence going forward for a staff whose most experienced pitchers next year figure to be Dallas Braden -- if he can come back at all -- Brett Anderson -- hardly a pillar of health and guarantees himself -- and, yes, Tommy Milone, grizzled veteran.
Perhaps the bigger question than "Are the A's interested?" (easily answered by, "Are we interested in a guy who puts up a sub 3.00 ERA when he's healthy? Um, yes.") is "What kind of a deal might work for both McCarthy and for the A's?
Just off the top of my head, I could see something like the following being the right combination of guaranteed money for McCarthy, and risk control for the A's...Your numbers may vary...
Perhaps: 3 years, 6M/year guaranteed each year, plus an additional $1M for pitching 100 innings, and an additional $1M for hitting each 20 inning mark thereafter (120, 140...). That would translate 160 IP into $10M, would translate 125 IP into $8M, 88 IP into $6M, 0 IP into $6M.
Fair? Realistic? I don't know. Is there a better "win-win" fair deal you can suggest? Or would you prefer to stay away from the "on again, off again" roller coaster that simply comes with Brandon McCarthy? Personally, I love the guy as a pitcher, a person, a tweeter, a leader, and a fine human being willing to speak out against homophobia while embedded in a homophobic culture. And he's probably never going to have a fully healthy season.
It's not an easy choice for the A's, nor is it easy to come up with the "right deal" for both sides. I'd do the deal above, but I'm not sure both sides would. What would you do?