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.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.