Braves close to getting Bruney from Yankees

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George King of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are close to trading reliever Brian Bruney to the Braves for prospects.
Atlanta has already rebuilt the bullpen by signing free agents Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, and is still waiting to hear whether this year’s late-inning duo of Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez will accept arbitration.
Bruney has terrible control and spent a big chunk of this season on the disabled list, but also has a legitimate mid-90s fastball and in four seasons with the Yankees has posted a 3.25 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 144 innings. He’s handed out 91 walks in those 144 frames, including 23 walks in 39 innings last season, but with Wagner handling closing duties and Saito slated to be the primary setup man Bruney wouldn’t be a bad option in the sixth and seventh innings.

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.