Brandon McCarthy is 1-7, so why are MLB teams interested in trading for him?

(AP Photo/Scott Kane)

The Brandon McCarthy experiment has simply not worked out for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last season, the right-hander went 5-11 with a 4.53 ERA and so far this year he leads the league in losses with a 1-7 record plus a 5.20 ERA. But that won’t stop teams from being interested in his services, writes Chris Cotillo:

Sources indicate that the Jays have had interest in McCarthy in the past, and that it’s “very likely” that the D-Backs shop him given his contract status and the team’s position as sellers on the trade market.

Another team to watch on McCarthy is the Red Sox, who were finalists to sign him at the Winter Meetings two years ago.

All McCarthy’s peripheral stats are in line or better than what we have seen from him historically, including a higher strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate (7.8) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.85), so it makes sense he would have trade value.

And it would seem that his record is more of a reflection of his penchant for throwing the sinker, but despite giving up fewer fly balls this season more are leaving the yard, thus masking his “real” value.

McCarthy might be better than his record reflects, but I’m not sure he would be the right fit for Boston. Looking at the fly balls yielded by McCarthy at his home park of Chase Field, there could have been as many as three more fly balls (yellow dots) that would have been home runs (blue dots) over the Green Monster. Not exactly ideal.

Hits yielded by Brandon McCarthy at Chase Field overlayed on Fenway Park
Yellow dots = fly outs, blue dots = HR

However, the spacious confines of Rogers Center, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, could provide McCarthy the room he needs to help bring the HR/FB rate back in line with his career averages.

Hits yielded by Brandon McCarthy at Chase Field overlayed on Rogers Centre
Yellow dots = fly outs, blue dots = HR
Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.



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Neil Greenberg · June 5, 2014

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