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Dodgers finalize deal with Brandon McCarthy

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers made official their deal with Brandon McCarthy on Tuesday, signing the right-handed pitcher to a four-year contract worth a reported $48 million.

The 31-year-old right-hander was 10-15 with a 4.05 ERA in 32 starts with the Diamondbacks and Yankees in 2014, with 175 strikeouts and 35 walks in 200 innings, including 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts with New York.

The right-hander was born in Glendale and his family resided in Pasadena until age 11. He grew up idolizing Orel Hershiser, and will now have Hershiser call his games.

"There was nothing that didn't intrigue me about the Dodgers," McCarthy said. "I grew up 10 miles from the stadium. The Dodgers were what I knew, they were what I looked up to as a kid."

McCarthy in the last four seasons has a 3.81 ERA in 97 starts with the A's, Diamonbacks and Yankees, a 102 ERA+, ranking 48th among the 90 major league pitchers with at least 500 innings during that span. Peripherally he has been better, ranking 21st in FIP (3.44) and 17th in FIP (3.43).

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the free agent market dictated a four-year contract for McCarthy.

"We are looking for some long-term solutions. We have Clayton here for the long haul, Ryu as well. Zack has the ability to opt out after this year, and if he has another year like he had this past season that's a real possibility," Zaidi said. "There are times you want to bet on a guy for the long term because you believe he can meet or even exceed his expecations over the long haul."

McCarthy missed all of 2010 with a stress fracture in his right shoulder, but it serves as a dividing line for his career, in which he is almost two different pitchers. In 2012, McCarthy recalled to ESPN the Magazine his interest in sabermetrics and reading sites like FanGraphs.

"The more I read, the more it just made sense," he says. "I wanted ground balls and worse contact. I wanted to attack the zone and get deep into games." By the time McCarthy came off the DL in September 2009, he'd made a decision: He was going to become Roy Halladay."

McCarthy had a career-high ground ball rate of 52.6 percent, and the difference in his career is notable. From 2005-2009, McCarthy's ground ball rate was 36.4 percent, but from 2011-2014 it rose to 47.8 percent.

"There was no starting pitcher that I felt more comfortable with out on the mound during my time in Oakland and than Brandon, just because of his intelligence, his attention to detail and his game planning, plus his command," Zaidi said. "I don't think we had a starting pitcher in my time there who was better at executing a game plan than Brandon. When you are in a front office there is nothing that gives you more comfort than a guy you know who will execute the game plan you want to execute."

McCarthy at 6'7 is tied for the second-tallest Dodgers pitcher ever, alongside Aaron Harang and Rick Sutcliffe to name a few. McCarthy is one of eight Dodgers pitchers at least 6'7, with former NBA player Mark Hendrickson topping the list at 6'9.