How Much Money is Brandon McCarthy's Head Injury Worth? and Other Bullets

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How Much Money is Brandon McCarthy’s Head Injury Worth? and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I’ll have more thoughts on last evening’s roster moves, as well as the newest Cubs pitching prospect, later this morning. Also, there’s a fresh BN Podcast on the way today. Until then, Bullets …

  • Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs took a very long look at Brandon McCarthy’s unique free agent situation, which is of note to the Cubs for obvious reasons. Specifically, Sullivan would like to be able to know what kind of impact McCarthy’s concussion/brain surgery thing will have on his contract, if any: “We probably won’t be able to learn much from the contract that McCarthy ends up signing, because he represents a sample size of one. This is a thought experiment because it’s not something we’ll ever be able to observe in real life. Say there are 100 Brandon McCarthys. Of those, 50 are clones of the current Brandon McCarthy. The other 50 are clones of the current Brandon McCarthy, but without the head injury. The line drive just missed, and McCarthy kept on pitching through the end of the season. We’ll refer to the first group as Group A, and to the second group as Group B. On average, Group B signs a free-agent contract worth $X million. On average, Group A signs a free-agent contract worth $Y million. Is $Y million equal to $X million? If not, what is the difference? How much lower is Y than X?”
  • It’s a tricky question that Sullivan asks, and one I’ve wrestled with as well. When discussing this injury, specifically, how do you figure a guy’s value? It’s not like it’s an elbow injury or a shoulder injury, for which there would be an obvious discount on the market. But, at the same time, it’s not your run-of-the-mill concussion (if there is such a thing). It takes only one team to give McCarthy his “full” market value for the discussion to be entirely moot, and Cameron’s right: because of that, we’ll never really know the impact. My question for you: are you expecting that the Cubs would get a discount on McCarthy because of the head injury, specifically? He was already going to sign for less than you might expect, because of his other injury history. But should that number come down even more? I’m still firmly in the pro-McCarthy camp, but that’s because I believe he’ll be signing for something in the two-year, $20 million range, at the top. If it’s more than that, then the “winning” team, to me, clearly isn’t concerned about the head injury (or maybe even the rest of the injury history, either). Obviously this whole discussion feels a little untoward, but it’s a necessary evil.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at one of the more notable roster moves from yesterday: the Mariners dumping Chone Figgins. And, no, I don’t think he’s worth anything more than a Spring Training invite (and, even then, I’m dubious).
  • A comments reminder: for your own good, and the good of the community, learn to spot trolls and then ignore them. They tend to post incessantly for short bursts of time. They tend to try and bait you into arguments that make no sense. They tend to spell poorly and use a kind of “grammar” that few would recognize as communication. Their sole purpose for commenting is to get a rise out of folks, and not to genuinely discuss the Cubs. When you see someone doing this, please ignore them. When you engage, you’re giving them exactly what they want: your attention. Also remember that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t make them a troll. This Bullet refers to a very specific subset of folks who get their jollies not from actually discussing the Cubs, but instead from baiting stupid fights.
  • But to put the community back in a positive light, here’s something awesome from BN’er TWC:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.