The Oakland Athletics added some depth to their pitching rotation and/or bullpen today by signing free agent right handed pitcher Brandon McCarthy to a one-year contract worth $1 million. The A’s also handled some internal business by agreeing to a one year contract with reliever Joey Devine worth approximately $560,000. The contract keeps the two sides out of arbitration this year.
Both pitchers have dealt with numerous injuries and will be looking to prove they can stay healthy. Both pitchers are considered solid talents, but they’ve rarely put together complete seasons. Devine is coming off Tommy John surgery and missed the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In his first season with the A’s in 2008, Devine put together a stunning 0.59 era in 45.2 innings of work. It was the lowest era in history for anybody with at least 40 innings pitcher, but the record isn’t recognized because the league requires a minimum of 50 innings for such recognition. If healthy, Devine could prove to be a key setup man for closer Andrew Bailey.
McCarthy spent a chunk of last season in the Texas Rangers farm system with triple-A Oklahoma City. In 11 appearances (nine starts), McCarthy was 4-2 with a 3.36 era. He’s dealt with various shoulder injuries including stress fractures and has to prove he can stay healthy. He put together a very solid winter league campaign in Venezuela that brought numerous teams calling. McCarthy will compete with Bobby Cramer, Josh Outman and Tyson Ross for the A’s fifth starter spot.