Yankees acquire McCarthy from Diamondbacks

The New York Yankees received Brandon McCarthy and cash from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for starting pitcher Vidal Nuno according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

The move was the Diamondbacks’ second move of the weekend after trading Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels Saturday morning.

The Diamondbacks will eat 2.05 million dollars of the 4.1 million owed to McCarthy for the remainder of the season according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. McCarthy will be a free agent at the end of the season while Nuno is under club control until 2019.

McCarthy has had an unusual season in Arizona.His ERA+ is 75, the worst of his career and 25 points below league average. Advanced metrics show that McCarthy hasn’t been as bad as he seems. He ranks seventh in the major leagues in xFIP (expected fielder independent pitching) which means he is likely to have an outstanding second half of the season. He also is strikeout more hitters than he ever has in his career.

The Yankees needed a reliable arm after Joe Girardi announced that CC Sabathia will likely miss the remainder of the 2014 season. The Yankees rank ninth in the American League in starter ERA, largely due to Masahiro Tanaka who has been arguably the best pitcher in the AL. The rest of the rotation has been underwhelming.

McCarthy fared well in the American League during his stint with the Oakland Athletics. He dominated with the A’s in 2011 with a 3.32 ERA and an incredible 2.86 FIP. He was excellent again in 2012 posting a 3.24 ERA. But his season was cut short after being hit in the head with a line drive.

If McCarthy can perform for the Yankees as well as he did for the A’s the Yankee fans will be very pleased. My father, a Yankee fan who scoffs at advanced metrics, is disgusted with his 3-10 record and 5.01 ERA. It’s been a brutal day explaining FIP and ballpark effects to him.

Vidal Nuno (Mike Carlson/AP)

Vidal Nuno (Mike Carlson/AP)

The Diamondbacks get 26-year-old Vidal Nuno in return. Nuno has been dreadful for the Yankees in 2014. His 5.42 ERA is the worst for Yankee starters this season and he is walking three batters per nine innings. He allows 1.7 home runs per nine innings and his FIP is an astronomical 5.15.

In Nuno’s defense he was thrown into the fire after injuries to three of the Yankees starting pitchers and was not part of the Yankee plan in 2014. The Diamondbacks hope that a change of scenery will help Nuno.

McCarthy is a better pitcher than Nuno and that is undebatable. This trade makes the Yankees better for a cheap price which is exactly what their general manager Brian Cashman wants to do. This is a good start but don’t be surprised to see the Yankees make more moves before the July 31 trade deadline.