[Seriously, people of the baseball world: stop doing things on Friday nights. I am writing this from a Christmas party.]

Well, you can scratch Brandon McCarthy off the wish list, as he just signed tonight with the Arizona Diamondbacks for two years and (just) $15.5 million. The Cubs obviously could have comfortably beat the D-Backs on that offer, which suggests one of three things (or all of them) is at work:

(1.) Teams are more scared off by his myriad injuries than we think;

(2.) McCarthy really wanted to pitch for a contender; and/or

(3.) The Cubs were trying to get McCarthy on the cheap.

I’ll have more thoughts on this later (immediate reaction is “ah, crap, that sucks”). But, you know, Christmas party.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

    I would have liked him, but there’s other guys I like more in the same rough price range. I’m not going to get all emo about not getting him just because he’s funny on Twitter.

    • TC

      Completely agree. Furthermore, the guy is never, ever healthy. He’s only thrown over 111 IP once in his career, and is no sure bet to get past that number in 2013. Woulda been a nice piece to have, but maybe the cheap deal for him means we can get Anibal a bit cheaper.

      Also, we just don’t know if he would have even signed here. He much prefers the west coast, and seemed to want to pitch for a contender. The Cubs offer none of those things, and might’ve had to go 3/30 or more on him to convince him to come here.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      At that price? That’s a great deal.

    • Brunsmk

      Who do you have in mind?

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

    Also, in that picture, he looks like Mark Prior wearing Rich Harden’s uniform.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      wow, he really does!

  • MichiganGoat

    Last thing, over under on this thread reaching 300+

    • TC

      waaay past. this place is about to go nuclear like the Cubs just signed three Nate Schierholtz clones to fill out the rotation

      • cjdubbya

        Breaking ’round 7pm on a Friday night? I’ll agree w/ Spencer & say under, unless there’s a big booze-filled war that goes on again tonight. Would have liked to have seen McCarthy on the North Side, esp. at that price on the FA market, but who knows. Still a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way to Opening Day.

        • TC

          yeah, a long week of school & little sleep has made me completely forget what day it is haha

    • Spencer


      • TC

        well, it is a Friday, that helps

    • FFP

      I’ll take the under. Here, that’s optimism.

    • MichiganGoat

      300+ TC wins Spencer loses

  • DocPeterWimsey

    I’m really surprised that he signed before Greinke did: McCarthy’s value would have gone up a little after that. I wonder if he really liked the idea of pitching in Arizona for some reason.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    He has a good looking wife. Would have fit in well.

  • Drew7

    Well, that sucks. Im disappointed, but TC’s right: it *could* be a case of the Cubs not making the best bid, but its at least equally as likely that McCarthy simply didn’t want to pitch here.


    Not worried about Brandon McCarthy . I wish him well and hope pitches well for the Diamondbacks.

  • spearman

    Maybe one day we won’t be afraid to be cheap again.

  • Don

    This sucks! This was the one free agent that I really wanted the cubs to sign. Oh well on to Sanchez.

  • Nick Nesler

    Well maybe this gives is a better shot at getting peralta back.

  • Jamess

    Maybe with Brandon McCarthy being signed, Arizona will be interested in trading Trevor Bauer. Hopefully the Cubs will be in on that. I think we need to try to find a young impact player.

  • santos toupe

    id rather get some offense than branden mc. never liked him

  • MightyBear

    I have been a huge supporter of the Theo jedi magical mystery tour from the beginning but they f’ed this up. This was way too low for this pitcher and his ability and this amount of money and this number of years. If you’d have asked me when the offsets started which 2 pitchers i wanted to fill the cubs 2 holes in the rotation, it would have been baker and mccarthy.

    • MightyBear

      The cubs could have had them both for less than 12 mil

      • DocPeterWimsey

        You are assuming that McCarthy made his decision based solely on $$$$. Given that he decided before Greinke signed (which would have upped McCarthy’s value) and given that he signed for only 2 years, I would bet that he wanted to go to Arizona.

        At any rate, remember that a contending team is worth $$$ to a player, and the DBacks might well be a contender next year. (I’m not 100% sold on them doing that, but the NLW is full of good-not-great teams, and the DBacks look to be one of them; they should come in 1st through 3rd.)

        • MightyBear

          You’re right Doc. They’re going to come in 3rd and not make the playoffs. I contend the Cubs have an easier time making the playoffs than the D’Backs simply because they are in a weaker division. I’m sick of everybody saying the Cubs won’t contend. It’s baseball. Right now everybody has a shot. I can tell you last year most people picked the Phillies and Red Sox to be contenders and make the playoffs. They didn’t. Most people didnt pick the Nationals to win their division. They did. Most people didn’t think the A’s or the Orioles had a snowballs chance in hell of winning their division or making the playoffs. They did. Oakland traded away their best pitcher and won their division. Guess what? They were rebuilding last year and weren’t going to contend for 2-3 years. Sound familiar? I can tell you this, the Cubs had a better shot at contending this year if they signed McCarthy and it wouldn’t have cost them very much at all.

          • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

            Well right now, players look at each team and figure out who the contenders will probably be. No one is going to want to sign with the Astros or Marlins (even barring their fire sale) because their teams are garbage (you want to see the definition of throwing a season, look no further).

            At the end of the day, the fact that McCarthy got such an amazing contract should lead you to believe that there are not many teams in baseball that value him highly (nor should they, he is Rich Harden 2.0) and the only plan of action if you sign him should be to hope he can stay healthy (and effective) for half a season and then ditch him at the deadline.

    • MightyBear


      Damn auto finish

  • Mick

    The NL West is going to be a battle zone next season. If you’re the Rockies or a fan of the Rockies, what are you thinking? The Dodgers have more than trippled your payroll, the DBacks appear to be close to contending, and the Giants just won the World Series.

    Seems like there’s more behind the scenes at work here than the DBacks offered him the most so he took it. You’d have to think there were multiple offers for more than he took but must have preferred the desert. From what I hear, he’s a West Coast guy but no team on the West Coast was very interested.

    I’d be shocked if the Cubs sign anyone of McCarthy’s caliber anyway. I can see signing another OF, RP, and utility infielder but that’s about it. Here’s hoping we can get something worked out to trade Soriano and Marmol.

  • MightyBear

    I wonder if its a no trade clause issue? God this really bums me out.

    • Mick

      What would the Cubs have done if they had signed McCarthy? We’ve got Garza, Shark, Wood, Feldman, and Baker in the rotation. You’d have to think Feldman and Baker are rotation locks being paid $7 million each. Would you start Baker in the bullpen until you traded Garza? Would you use a 6-man rotation?

      2013 is going to be exactly the same, strategy-wise as last season. We may win a few more games because of luck, better health, and better depth but realistically we can’t compete with the top half of the NL with our current roster. We’re better served putting ourselves in another position to trade short term assets for long term gains, get another top draft pick slot, shed Soriano and Marmol, and start to hopefully put together some semblance of a core and first wave of prospects to the MLB. At that point, which optimistically might be 2015, we can go all in on a few top free agents.

      I’m sorry for your loss though if you were really hoping for McCarthy.

  • die hard

    No loss in not getting him….but I still cannot envision Cubs losing less than 95 games in 2013 with current 40 man…so bigger moves on horizon may be in the works….even the Phillies made a move and may make more….

    • Mick

      I’m resigned to think the same thing if you couldn’t tell from my above post but I’m not blaming anybody for it, it’s just the position we’re in. Maybe I’ll blame the Tribune Co. for diverting funds from minor league signings to the major league roster during the 2000’s because we’ve got absolutely nobody in the upper tiers of our farm system. It’s laughable when you start comparing other team’s prospects to our own. Plus, for what FA #1 SP’s are signing for!?! Greinke’s about to sign a $25m/year deal! Now go and sign 3 or 4 of those guys because that’s what you’re going to need in order to make a run (in addition to a top to bottom mashing lineup). Put all of that together and the Cubs are seriously behind. Drastic times call for drastic measures. We could have either gone out like the Dodgers and just exploded our payroll by trading for and signing everybody or we could take the current route and start with the farm system. Logically, I know the current strategy is the way to go but its going to take a ton of patience in order to get there.

      • die hard

        saw Moneyball again for the 3rd time…each time gets better..like wine and twinkies…..but what I finally realized is that the Beane approach to take walks, not steal and fielding doesnt matter could work with the Cubs given current roster if somebody can get them to believe in it…

  • Ab

    Maybe they have big plans for Sanchez we just don’t know about. Or maybe they like marcum who is also a good option. I just hope they get somebody.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Sanchez should hold out until Greinke is signed. At that point, there will be a multi-team dogfight for his services as the numerous failed suitors for Greinke will be scraping for the best remaining available pitcher, and driving up Sanchez’s bargaining position. The Cubs will have to seriously outbid at least a couple of contenders in order to get him.

      That said, I wouldn’t mind if the Cubs did that as much as I would have minded with McCarthy. (That head injury really scares me.)

      • MightyBear

        It wasn’t his head that had teams concerned, it was his elbow.

        • MightyBear

          I’m sorry it was his shoulder not his elbow. I was thinking of somebody else.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          It should be his head that has teams concerned along with his arm. Between taking a rocket shot off the head (which may alter his follow-through) and that damn Inverted W, I just see this signing as being all risk for the D-Backs.

  • CycloneColin

    The Cubs could’ve climbed some ranks when it came to hot player wives! Schierholtz’s wife is alright but the addition of McCarthy’s with DeJesus…talk about the start of a possible Dynasty!

    At that price it seems like he wants to pitch for a contender and maybe the Diamondbacks offered the best situation. Also the Diamondbacks have like 10 possible starting pitchers now especially when Dan Hudson returns.

    Precursor for a possible trade? Asrubal Cabrera or uhh maybe Andrus

  • Believe in 2015

    McCarthy should have a good bounce back campaign. I wonder what the Cubs offered him. Had to be a multi year contract right?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Cubs (and other teams: several were linked to McCarthy) might have laden offers with performance clauses. What McCarthy suffered really is not trivial, and it’s also the sort of injury that can affect that way a player approaches the game. This is basically the equivalent of a batter getting badly beaned: and we all know how many careers have been wrecked that way.

      It reads like the DBacks might have just offered money without incentives. If so, then the possible money might have been less, but the guaranteed money almost certainly was greater. (And, of course, he might really like the idea of playing in AZ.)

  • http://www.opportunity.org Seamhead

    McCarthy’s contract calls for $6 million (signing bonus and salary) in 2013, plus a guaranteed $9 million for 2014. That’s a big ticket for 2014 for a guy whose ability to stay healthy is really in question.

    Most teams probably offered one year, and if certain criteria (innings pitched, etc.) were met, then the second year would vest.

    Guaranteeing that second year is a significant calculated risk, and one that made him “unflippable”.to the Cubs.

  • fastball

    That Sucks I wanted him. Hendry wouldnhave paid at least $20M for him. :)
    Maybe we need Sam sell as owner and theo as gm. 😉
    Well I wonder what theo and jedi are talking about at the strip club for happy hour before heading home to the wife’s. That F-ing McCarthy bastard screwed us man. Ya he did how many people will want to lynch over this one. Ya I thought this town was full of hill jacks that just liked to drink beer. They actually watch these shitty teams. Boy are they gonna be pissed when Tom tells them beer is to be z$20 bucks a cup. Ya and $15 to to take a piss in the trough. Yep suits gonna hit the fan. C ya on Monday brow. Chao

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      15 bucks to take a piss? Lol

      You get a five dollar discount if you let tommy boy peer at your junk while you’re tapping your kidney.

  • daveyrosello

    Agree with Kyle, McCarthy’s injuries scared me. Pitched more than 120IP just once in his career. No want.

    I’m actually hoping the cheaper-than-expected contract he took makes Marcum similarly valued. I’d rather have him for the Cubs, much more durable. If Theo can get him at the same $8MM AAV price point, do it. 2 or 3 years.

    • USS

      I agree. I did not want another rubber band!

  • Walter Sobchak

    I’d like that deal for Marcum ……..in heartbeat

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013
    • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

      hes gonna be out to start the season

    • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

      his dumb ass friend stabbed him in hand

  • KYCub

    Under current leadership, the Cubs are too cheap to get good Cheap pitchers. must have TJ surgery before Theo is interested.

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    It’s pretty funny to read the posts here about a free agent,

    Here’s how it goes:

    1. Guy is a free agent and everybody likes the guy. Hopes he signs with us.

    2. Guy signs with another team- we didn’t want him anyway. He’s injury prone and really isn’t that good.


    • Spencer

      that’s pretty much how the rule 5 draft is too lol

    • MightyBear

      Yeah no kidding. If we didn’t want him, why did we have an offer to him? Somebody riddle me that.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        It’s not as simple as “we didn’t want him”. The Cubs would take any and every player that is capable of improving the team, for the right contract.

        Just because team A was willing to give him $X doesn’t mean that it is wise to do so. Considering his history, you have to be careful what you guarantee a guy like this.

        It’s easy to say the Cubs have the money to spend so just spend it already. It’s about spending it wisely so that we can build a foundation for continued success.

        • MightyBear

          That’s my point. Paying McCarthy what the D’Backs gave him is spending it wisely. He was valued at 3 years 30 mil. Maybe 4. The Nats gave Haren 13 mil for 1 year. To me, he was a higher risk than McCarthy at 15.5 and you get 2 years to make it right.

          • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

            Haren is also exponentially more likely to live up to his contract than McCarthy will to his current one. Despite back issues, he has thrown 2.5 times more innings the last 5 years.

            McCarthy just can not be trusted to stay on the field.

            • MightyBear

              Exponentially? Where’d you come up with that? And yeah that’s logical, he threw more innings so he’s more likely to not break down. One of the big concerns with Haren is he’s thrown more innings than almost anyone in the last 7-8 years. He’s 2 years older than McCarthy and he sucked last year. Give me McCarthy, I’ll take my chances.

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    u guys must of already known that

  • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

    about cashner

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      ya, it was in the bullets on Thursday.

  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com Rice Cube

    I like the part where Brett went to a Christmas party almost three weeks before Christmas 😉

  • Rcleven

    Phil Rogers ‏@ChiTribRogers

    Cubs were bidding for Brandon McCarthy, who has agreed to 2-year, $15.5 million deal with AZ. They offered 2 yr deal heavy on bonuses.

    So there you go.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I’ll bet that McCarthy’s other offers were like that, too. So, he might well have taken more guaranteed money over more possible money. And after what he’s been through, I cannot blame him. (And, quite frankly, I cannot blame the Cubs and other teams for offering incentive laden contracts.)

      • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

        Sounds like you can’t blame anybody