Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy Ranked Among Worst Signings

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the offseason, the expectation was the Los Angeles Dodgers would at the very least be in the mix for Jon Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields. The Dodgers’ deep pockets and desire to win now had them viewed as a significant threat to bolster their starting rotation by adding any one of the three free agents.

However, as the offseason unfolded, it became evident the Dodgers wouldn’t spend big for one starter and they instead added multiple pitchers at a lesser cost. Mike Bolsinger and Juan Nicasio were acquired via trades in November, and the following month Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy signed with the Dodgers.

With the offseason in its final days, ESPN’s Jayson Stark conducted a poll to survey executives on several topics. Among them was the worst free-agent signings, which Anderson and McCarthy unceremoniously received votes in:

Max Scherzer (Nationals) — 15
Brett Anderson (Dodgers) — 10
Hanley Ramirez (Red Sox) — 9
Michael Cuddyer (Mets) — 8
Nick Markakis (Braves) — 6
Billy Butler (A’s) — 5
Brandon McCarthy (Dodgers) — 5

McCarthy struggled last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but found success after getting traded to the New York Yankees. During his time with the Yankees, he went 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Overall, McCarthy finished 2014 10-15 with a 4.05 ERA.

Based on production and McCarthy’s injury history, the four-year, $48 million contract the Dodgers signed the 31 year old to appears to be a risk, but it does include protection in the event he spends a considerable amount of time on the disabled list.

Moreover, with a new training regimen, McCarthy is confident he’ll stay healthy and Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said signing the right-hander was a long-term solution. As for Anderson, his one-year deal is less obstructive in the event he is unable to remain healthy, which has been an issue throughout his career.

While Anderson hasn’t started more than 19 games since 2010, his second season in the Majors, he believes his misfortune has been a case of bad luck. Although the voters in ESPN’s poll aren’t high on the Anderson and McCarthy signings, if both pitchers can remain healthy the backend of the Dodgers’ rotation will be in better shape than it was last season.


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  1. Well Mr McCarthy and Anderson have some articles to tape up in their locker and see if they can prove the “experts” wrong.

    1. Sorry T…I pretty much agree with the experts. McCarthy earned that contract because he had 14 good starts with the Yankees. His history says different. 14 starts translates into 48 million? Sorry, no matter what it is a bad contract. Anderson has even a worse history, I am sorry, they are asking for miracles out of these two guys and I think they screwed the pooch

      1. They were/are certainly a reach. I figure they are planning to use the young guys from the farm once some of these guys go down. IF you watch the A’s that is what they have done. Depending on Ryu’s back, McCarthy and Anderson’s assorted injuries we will see how soon the Farm will be needed. Once the market on Shields got into the “as reasonable as they are these days” category the Dodgers should have signed him. As I said I know one of his close relatives and Shields was talking to the Dodgers. He very much wanted to come “home’ to this area for his last contract. It is a shame the Dodger did not sign him. Plus I think they needed him to match the Nats. Pitching wins pennants.

        1. I agree except on one thing. There is not one starting pitcher in the minors who has been outstanding or even close. Lee is behind in his development, Reed might be the closest, but certainly not MLB ready. don’t get me started on Frias..That guy is a disaster waiting to happen, The best starters in the minors are at least 2 to 3 years away. the former starters they got over the winter..Nicasio, Bolsinger, Huff, Wieland, Bedard, Honestly, can you see any of those guys stepping into the breach? Not me.

      2. His history is checkered but he had success because he had a change in philosophy in regards to his pitch selection and that is the key. Mechanical issues are a different animal altogether and this didn’t happen in his case. Anderson is the real risk here but like most things when it comes to the Dodgers if it doesn’t work out it’s only money and they can absorb a lot.

        1. He still gets hurt..and 48 million for that guy is way too much..Now he can go make a liar out of me, but he did not do well in the national league the first time around

          1. Remember the NL stint was pre-change of pitch philosophy. The story we are responding to isn’t the only opinion out there, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs lists the McCarthy signing as the 10th BEST move of the off-season, As for his contract sure it will be bad if he stinks but these are not the same owners we are used to and this is chump change to THEM.

          2. I trust Jayson Stark more than Dave Cameron. And he considers the signing the 5th worst…I will stick with that. If McCarthy makes me eat crow later…good for him…I am not a believer in either one of these guys…..there were better options out there especially for a team in a win now mode….with a fan base that is pissed off because of the lack of TV, what is perceived as a lack of acquisition of good players, and in general a tearing down of a 94 win team…..I do not buy into that chemistry crap……They won……If they had fixed the BP during the season, we would not even be talking about this stuff

      3. The book on McCarthy seems to be struggle in Arizona when the team told him not to throw his cutter ans success in New York where the Yankees told him to throw the cutter a lot. I like the signing. Anderson on the other hand is not likely to start more than 15 games.

  2. Lotta “ifs” here…. Hope Dodgers are still interested in making a run on Hamels.

    1. Bob….that is not going to happen. The Phillies have consistently asked for either Seager, Pederson or Urias. the Dodgers are not going to pick up Hamels contract and trade away one of their best prospects and they have said so repeatedly.

      1. You never know… Remember when they said they weren’t going to trade Matt Kemp? Maybe giving up one of those three to get a pitcher like Hamels who may be needed in order to get to the World Series would be worth it. We know he is a proven commodity. We don’t know about the youngsters.

        1. I would bet that Hamels is not even being discussed. Kemp was a different ball of wax and so was Gordon. The difference here is that not only would it take 1 or 2 of the top 3, then you would have to add a couple lower tier guys. The Phillies are looking to replenish their farm. They are not giving away arguably their best pitcher for peanuts, Amaro does not have to trade Hamels right now, he can wait until midseason when the contenders thin out and then the price will be higher, and why? Because he is not a rental. They would have been better off signing Shields or one of the other free agents. They could have unloaded Kemp for a starter and got a free agent C. Instead they got a guy who is a lousy defender who’s best skill is framing pitches. He has some power, but so far he has not shown all that with the bat. But be that as it may, they have another far more pressing problem after today. Jansen had foot surgery and will be out 8-12 weeks, which means all of April and most of May. They need a closer more now than another starter.

          1. Now that the Dodgers NEED a closer, you can bet they’re going to have to pay a premium price to get one, either one of the free agents or by way of trade. Shoulda signed one of the free agents a couple days ago. Dodgers don’t need another starter immediately, but if history shows us anything, we’ll probably go through about nine starting pitchers this season and maybe more, given how the new fourth and fifth starters haven’t been very durable over their careers. I agree that Dodgers didn’t get enough for Kemp… he musta been a real problem in clubhouse and/or dugout for Mattingly to surrender him for what they got. I really like A.J. Elllis (Kershaw does too) and think he’s fine behind the plate.

          2. If they did not bite on Shields they certainly will not go for Hamels. Plus the Phillies according to reports are asking for 2 of our top 3 and that is not going to happen. If they trust the reports of their internal people. I could see them trading a Pederson and a couple of mid-level farm guys but I would not trade Seager or Urias. All the reports say these two are special. And cost controlled for 6-7 years.

          3. Right on the button T. Urias and Seager are not going anywhere. But I do not think they will trade for a closer because A It is too early to panic and B they have at least 5 guys coming to camp who have closed.

  3. What! Executives without Dodger money that are 40 years older than our brass don’t like our signings? Oh the irony!!!

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