Do the Phillies want Pedro Martinez back?

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While attending David Ortiz’s charity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic over the weekend Pedro Martinez made it clear that he’d like to pitch for the Phillies again in 2010. “They treated me very well and they were very professional,” Martinez said. “They will always have the door open.”
After signing with Philadelphia in July and making his Phillies debut a month later, Martinez went 5-3 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 starts between the regular season and playoffs. With a 53/12 K/BB ratio in 61.2 innings Martinez certainly showed that he still has the stuff to be an effective middle-of-rotation starter and he reportedly plans to play a full season in 2010.
Of course, at 38 years old Martinez is hardly a good bet to actually pitch a full season. In fact, he hasn’t started 25 games or thrown 150 innings since his first year with the Mets in 2005. Philadelphia has Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and J.A. Happ cemented in the rotation, so the question is whether it’s worth spending, say, $5 million on Martinez rather than turning the fifth spot over to some combination of Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, and Antonio Bastardo. Probably, but the Phillies seem unlikely to get into any kind of bidding war.

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.