4:32pm: Robert Murray of FanSided relays the terms. It will be two years and $6.25MM with a $4MM mutual option for 2025 that comes with a $750K buyout.
3:14pm: The Diamondbacks have agreed to a two-year contract with right-hander Scott McGough, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The former Marlins right-hander has spent the past four years pitching in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, where he’s solidified himself as a quality late-inning reliever. The 33-year-old McGough, who also won a Silver Medal pitching for the United States in the Olympics, will now return to the Majors for the first time since 2015.
McGough has just 6 2/3 innings of Major League experience, during which he yielded seven runs on a dozen hits and four walks with four strikeouts. However, he’s now spent four seasons with NPB’s Yakult Swallows, logging a combined 2.94 ERA with a 26% strikeout rate against a 7.6% walk rate. The 2022 season was his finest in Japan, as McGough notched personal bests in ERA (2.35), saves (38) and walk rate (6%). He’s also upped his strikeout rate over the past two seasons in NPB, jumping from 21% in 2019 to 26% in 2020 before peaking at a combined 28.5% from 2021-22 — his first two seasons as a full-time closer.
It’s not the first time the D-backs have tapped into the NPB and KBO markets to find relatively inexpensive pitching help. Arizona got two strong years out of righty Yoshihisa Hirano, who’d been the closer for NPB’s Orix Buffaloes, back in 2018-19. Even more impactfully, the Snakes been leaning on right-hander Merrill Kelly as a fixture in their rotation for the past four seasons after signing him on the heels of a strong run with the Korea Baseball Organization’s SK Wyverns (now known as the SSG Landers).
McGough, a 2011 fifth-rounder of the Dodgers who was traded to Miami in the 2012 Hanley Ramirez swap, averaged 94 mph with his heater in 2022 and upped the usage of his splitter to a 30.3% clip as well, tweets Sung Min Kim (previously of FanGraphs and The Athletic). The D-backs view McGough as a possible late-inning option in the ’pen, Piecoro writes. He’ll join holdovers Mark Melancon, Joe Mantiply, Kevin Ginkel and fellow offseason signee Miguel Castro in manager Torey Lovullo’s bullpen.