Red Sox express interest in Adam Everett

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WEEI.com’s Alex Speier reports that Boston has contacted Adam Everett to “to express some preliminary interest,” which makes sense given that this year’s crop of free-agent agent shortstops is so underwhelming that the Red Sox have considered asking Dustin Pedroia to switch positions.
Everett is one of the worst hitters in baseball, but he’s long been an elite defensive shortstop, was originally taken by the Red Sox in the first round of the 1998 draft, and will come far cheaper than fellow free agents like Marco Scutaro, Miguel Tejada, and Orlando Cabrera.
Scutaro is the cream of the shortstop crop, but would require a multi-year deal and giving up next year’s first-round pick, while Tejada and Cabrera may not even be capable of handling shortstop defensively at this point. Ultimate Zone Rating had Everett as 8.9 runs above average defensively in 116 games for the Tigers this season and per 150 games he’s rated 18.3 runs above average for his entire career.
Everett turns 33 years old soon, so counting on that same extraordinary defense is no sure thing, but even a slight decline would leave him as one of the better defenders in the league. Red Sox fans may have a tough time seeing it, but Everett is fairly similar to Alex Gonzalez in overall value. Everett is a career .245/.297/.351 hitter with excellent defense. Gonzalez is a career .247/.294/.395 hitter with very good defense.
While it may not sound appealing, a .650 OPS combined with great defense would make Everett close to an average all-around shortstop. And unlike the prominent free-agent options Everett is also cheap enough that signing him to a one-year deal wouldn’t preclude the Red Sox from handing the job back to Jed Lowrie at some point. Everett is certainly no one’s idea of a No. 1 target and the Red Sox already traded him away for Carl Everett back in 1999, but as fallbacks go he’s palatable and cheap.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.