MLB Rumors: Brandon McCarthy drawing trade interest

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

As the faux debate rages on about the role of statistics and advanced statistics in how Major League Baseball is analyzed and consumed, one thing is for certain: those stats play a major role in big league front offices.

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Look no further than the trade interest in Arizona Diamondbacks’ starter Brandon McCarthy as evidence of that fact.

You don’t often hear about a guy with 10 losses before July 1st as a trade target. Such is the case with McCarthy, however, and for good reason. He is pitching much better than his statistics indicate, serving as a sort of case study in the fickle nature of pitcher wins and losses as useful statistics.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports the following about the market for McCarthy.

The bad stats read as follows: McCarthy is 1-10 with a 5.38 ERA this season.

The good stats, or at the very least the stats that suggest McCarthy has been better than that and a little bit unlucky, are as follows: he is striking out 7.4 per nine innings, has a 4.07 FIP (fielding independent pitching), and is the victim of a .339 BABIP (batting average on balls in play). That number might indicate that McCarthy is giving up a lot of hard contact, but it is also partially just plain bad luck that will ultimately level off.

As far as bargain level starting pitching at the trade deadline, McCarthy could be a good acquisition for some team.