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D-backs looking at Brandon McCarthy to bolster rotation

The Arizona Diamondbacks have no shortage of young pitching with top prospects Trevor Bauer, Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs waiting in the wings to earn a spot in the team’s starting rotation heading into the 2013 season.

Combined with proven pitchers Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill, manager Kirk Gibson has plenty of options when filling out his rotation this spring.

But despite the depth, general manager Kevin Towers has made it known throughout the offseason that the team — who will likely be without Daniel Hudson until after the All-Star break — is still interested in acquiring a top-of-the-rotation starter.

While the wheeling and dealing for Towers and Co. won’t officially get under way until Monday at the MLB Winter Meetings inside Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, the team already has its sights set on at least one pitcher.

Back in 2010, the Diamondbacks were one of a handful of teams interested in McCarthy’s services, but the right-hander signed a two-year deal at the time with the Oakland Athletics.

Now on the free agent market for the second time in his seven-year career, Arizona has even more reason to pursue McCarthy.

While he has a career 37-39 record with a 4.02 ERA, McCarthy really came into his own in Oakland as a starter. After adding two new pitches to his repertoire in 2011, McCarthy recorded nine wins and an ERA of 3.32 in over 170 innings of work. In addition, he threw five complete games in 25 starts.

During the Athletics’ improbable run to the postseason in 2012, McCarthy anchored Oakland’s staff for much of the season, going 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA and 73 strikeouts.

Unfortunately, McCarthy’s season was cut short on September 5, when a line drive off the bat off Angels infielder Erick Aybar struck the A’s pitcher in the head. McCarthy suffered an epidural hemorrhage, a brain contusion, and a skull fracture. He required emergency surgery to reduce cranial pressure in his brain.

While McCarthy did not pitch for the Athletics during their divisional round series against the Detroit Tigers, he was able to return to the dugout and was cleared to continue baseball activities earlier this month.