The Arizona Diamondbacks have begun to cash in their chips on the 2014 season by sending right-hander Brandon McCarthy to the New York Yankees for lefty Vidal Nuno. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported the trade first Sunday morning.
The Yankees also reportedly have designated slugger Alfonso Soriano for assignment.
McCarthy has a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts and has allowed more earned runs, and hits, than anyone else in the National League. Encouraging signs for the Yankees include: His strikeouts being up, his walks trending down, and some of his stats that suggest McCarthy has been a little unlucky. He's a ground-ball pitcher — which is good for Yankee Stadium — though he has allowed 15 home runs.
McCarthy told reporters in Arizona he'll make his first start for the Yankees on Wednesday.
Here's his reaction on Twitter:
Nuno, 26, was a decent stopgap at times for the Yankees, making 17 starts with a 4.78 ERA over the past two seasons. He has a 5.42 ERA this season, allowing 15 home runs in 78 innings. Plucked from an independent league in 2011, he has been traded for a solid No. 5 starter by general manager Brian Cashman.
McCarthy, who just turned 30 years old, is in the final months of a two-year contract that will pay him about $4.8 million, plus a $1 million "roster assignment" bonus for the rest of the season. ESPN's Buster Olney says the D-backs will eat more than $1 million of what is owed.
An improvement over Nuno and others, McCarthy probably helps the Yankees stay in the playoff race. The Yankees are 43-43 but only 3 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East. He'll probably get better defense from the Yankees, too.
McCarthy also has one of the more entertaining Twitter accounts and is a worthy philosophizer. Any facial hair will have to go, however.
The D-backs, who hoped to return to contending after another busy offseason, are tied for Houston for the worst record in the majors. Letting go of McCarthy and adding Nuno — who is scheduled to move into Arizona's rotation on Tuesday — wouldn't seem to help them other than in dumping some salary. Still, general manager Kevin Towers has said the team planned to be active on the transactions page. They already had sent outfielder Tony Campana to the Angels.
Other D-backs who might have value on the trade market include infielders Aaron Hill and Martin Prado, along with catcher Miguel Montero (if Arizona eats some of his salary).
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