Brandon McCarthy set to resume throwing

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Three weeks after undergoing brain surgery, Brandon McCarthy stepped back onto a major league field Friday, accepting the A’s nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award, and he said he plans to resume throwing Saturday.

CSNBayArea.com has the quotes.

“Now I can be in the dugout. I can be around the game atmosphere again,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s really what I need to get my mind off everything.”

McCarthy said he still suffers from boths of “mild cloudiness” after he was hit in the head by an Erick Aybar liner on Sept. 5, but he’s feeling better every day.

“I try not to get down with anything,” he said. “It’s just the way my brain works, it tries to find the humor in anything.”

McCarthy has been ruled out for the rest of the season, even should the A’s make and go deep into the playoffs, but he intends to pitch next year and he hopes to be back in Oakland. He’s a free agent at season’s end, but he wants to stay.

“Going through something like this, where you see the reactions, not only from the fans and teammates, but the way the front office handled it was beyond first class,” he said. “It truly shows you the family system that’s in place. I’d like to be back here.”

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.