The New York Yankees tried to bolster their depleted starting rotation when they traded lefty Vidal Nuno to the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-hander Brandon McCarthy on July 6.
MLB.com's Alex M. Smith probed deeper into the deal:
"The Yankees reached a deal with the D-backs to acquire right-hander Brandon McCarty in exchange for southpaw Vidal Nuno on Sunday.
"McCarthy, 30, joins the Yankees after going 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA over 18 starts with Arizona this season. He spent He spent the first seven years of his career in the American League with the (Chicago) White Sox, (Texas) Rangers and (Oakland) Athletics before joining the D-backs last year.
"Despite this season's poor numbers, McCarthy has been much better in his past two starts. He gave up one run in seven innings against San Diego on June 27, and then two runs in 5 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh on July 3.
"'McCarthy's an experienced starter,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. 'We expect him to pitch well for us and give us distance. I know he's had his struggles, but he's seemed to turn it around. He's got a good arm, and we need him to help us.'
"McCarthy also pitched reasonably well against the Yankees' AL East rivals, going 12-10 lifetime with a combined 3.90 ERA against the (Boston) Red Sox, (Baltimore) Orioles, (Toronto) Blue Jays and (Tampa Bay) Rays. That record is his best mark against any of the three AL divisions."
ESPN broke down the financial implications of the trade:
"A souce told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that the Diamondbacks will eat $2.05 million of the #4.1 million owed to McCarthy for the rest of the season. The Yankees will pay the $1 million in McCarthy's assignment bonus.
"The move comes after Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia had a setback with a degenerative cartilage problem in his right knee. New York was unable to work out a trade this week for the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija, who instead was dealt to Oakland."
"'It's not disappointing,' said Nuno, the rookie right-hander from California. 'It's part of baseball. Now I've got another journey in Arizona, closer a little bit to home, family I'll see a little bit more.'
"An hour later, after the clubhouse had been closed to reporters, the veteran outfielder Alfonso Soriano arrived to learn that he had been designated for assignment.
"The moves, announced before the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins, 9-7, addressed two of the club's biggest problems -- too few deep starts from a rotation thinned by injuries, and an overworked bullpen.
"A three-inning start by Chase Whitley on Friday and an 11-inning loss Saturday to the (Minnesota) Twins left the Yankees vulnerable if Sunday's starter, Hiroki Kuroda, faltered, Girardi said. The Yankees used Soriano's roster spot to recall the right-hander Bruce Billings from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"'The taxing of our bullpen forced us to make this move today, in a sense,' Girardi said. 'I'm not saying it would not have happened. But we decided we had to make it today.'
"That meant the end of Soriano's second stint with the Yankees. Last season Soriano excelled after his July 26 acquisition from the Chicago Cubs, hitting 17 homers with 50 runs batted in over 58 games. But this season Soriano, 38, struggled to find his swing. He hit .221 with six home runs, over all, and .204 against right-handers. In his final game Saturday, Soriano went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and misplayed two balls in left field.
"Soriano wanted to play every day, something Girardi could not guarantee with Brett Gardner secure in left and right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who had three hits Sunday, batting .294.
"'He's a guy who came in and did a tremendous job for us last year,' Girardi said. 'He's had his struggles this year. He's a guy who's used to playing every day. Maybe it was hard for him to get going. We're not sure.'
"The Yankees have 10 days to trade or release Soriano, who is making $18 million this season in the final year of the eight-year, $136 million deal he signed with the Cubs."