The five worst deals so far

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I’ll be honest: I miss those halcyon days of the late 90s when guys like Pat Meares would get $15 million deals. Sure, we still see stinkers, but not in the sheer volume we used to. Now we’re left with only one or two total head scratchers every winter.

There’s still plenty of time for teams to make bad deals this winter —
after all, the Mets haven’t given Bengie Molina the three years he
wants yet — but the last day of 2009 isn’t a bad place to stop and
take stock of the awfulness that has so far transpired.  FOX’s Dayn Perry does the honors today, looking at the five worst transactions so far. Click through for his rationale, but the five he picks are (1) the Brandon Lyon deal; (2) The Diamondbacks’ part of the Granderson deal; (3) The Cubs part of the Milton Bradley deal; (4) Fernando Rodney to the Angels; and (5) the White Sox taking on Juan Pierre. 

I’d like to thank Dayn for not including any of the brilliant moves I made as I freight-trained towards last place in the DiamondMind league he runs and in which I participate.  Just know that my team — the Matewan Massacre — would sign Pat Mears in a heartbeat. He’s a gamer, you know, and you can’t get enough gamers in fantasy baseball. 

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.