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yankees logo featureLooks like the Chicago Cubs set off the trade market once again this year.

The Yankees were hard, hard up for a starting pitcher after CC Sabathia’s latest setback (they needed a starter before that), and, according to Ken Rosenthal, they’re getting Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks. That the deal comes so soon after the Cubs/A’s swap makes sense, given multiple reports that had the Yankees desperately trying to pry a starter from the Cubs.

McCarthy has crummy baseball card stats this year, but most advanced metrics say he’s actually been pretty good. He turns 31 tomorrow, and is a free agent after the season (keep an eye on him).

The return on McCarthy appears to be 26-year-old lefty Vidal Nuno, who has been ineffectively filling in for the Yankees this year in their battered rotation. Nuno is cost-controlled and has some decent minor league numbers. Still, seems like the Diamondbacks could have done better here (and Buster Olney says they’re eating cash, too). (UPDATE: The Diamondbacks are eating $2 million(!) to make this deal happen. What on earth are thinking?)

Any impact to the market for the Cubs here? Well, other than the possibility that the Yankees re-ink McCarthy (taking him off the free agent pitching market), I don’t see a huge one. If you stretch, you say the Yankees were desperate for a starting pitcher, and maybe there was an Edwin Jackson marriage to be made, but I’m not sure they’d want the long-term commitment, given their ever-escalating payroll.

I guess the other thing you’d point out is that the Diamondbacks are clearly selling off every short-term piece they can right now.

As for asset value stuff, the Cubs’ take on Samardzija/Hammel probably says more about the trade asset market than this lesser deal, involving a guy like McCarthy, whose numbers look horrible to less-discerning eyes. I’m more interested in yesterday’s Angels/DBacks deal, which involved a complementary piece and a lefty reliever – pieces the Cubs could potentially trade.

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