On Saturday, we learned that the Dodgers were close to a deal with free agent starter Rich Hill to return to the club. But that would create something of a roster crunch for the club, whose 40 man roster currently stands at 39. If the Dodgers finalized their deal with Hill, it would leave them unable to participate in the Rule 5 draft this Sunday.
In response, according to Buster Olney, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi are aggressively trying to move one of their other starters:
Dodgers' 40-man roster at 39. They can't add Hill + anyone else until they clear spots. They are shopping Scott Kazmir, McCarthy, others.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2016
If they added Hill, the Dodgers would have eight or nine potential rotation members. Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, and Julio Urias are all locks. Hill would add a solid fourth option to that rotation, leaving the fifth spot to one of Kazmir, McCarthy, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Presumably, Jose De Leon and Ross Stripling would provide depth in the bullpen or at Triple-A in case of injury.
Kazmir was signed to a three-year deal as a free agent last offseason after resurrecting his career in Cleveland and Oakland. He struggled with neck injuries and ineffectiveness last year. He still struck out almost a batter per inning, but saw his walks rise and his ERA balloon to 4.56, despite pitching in Dodger Stadium.
McCarthy was signed to a four year deal before the start of 2015, and will make more than $6 million less than Kazmir in each of the next two years. He started last year on the DL, working his way back from Tommy John Surgery. He made a strong debut in July, but then hurt his hip, requiring another trip to the disabled list. He returned in September and made a strong start.
Given their injury history and contracts, neither Kazmir nor McCarthy would fetch a huge return on the trade market. Nevertheless, if healthy and effective, McCarthy in particular would be a pretty big bargain for a club looking to take a short-term risk.