UPDATE: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the deal is for two years and $15.5 million. That seems like a bargain in this market. Dan Haren — who also has some health questions — got almost that much for one year. But it does conform with Kevin Towers’ self-imposed rule on pitcher contracts.
5:27 PM: John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR in Phoenix is reporting that the Diamondbacks have agreed to a deal with starter Brandon McCarthy. The financial terms of the deal are not yet known. At one point this winter it was reported that Kevin Towers was unwilling to offer more than two years for a starting pitcher, but then again, people say a lot of things.
Interesting choice for both McCarthy and the Diamondbacks. For McCarthy, he goes from a pitchers park with a stellar defensive outfield to a hitters park where Jason Kubel calls home. For the Diamonbacks, you have to wonder if this doesn’t signal the end of those Mega Trade rumors, seeing as those have all involved, to some degree or another, a pitcher going to Arizona. But now you gotta wonder if they may use some starting pitching depth to flip for that shortstop they’ve been wanting.
McCarthy posted a 3.24 ERA and 73/24 K/BB ratio over 111 innings with the A’s this past season.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.