Everybody's waiting on Orlando Hudson

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Rosenthal notes that there is a big game of musical chairs afoot when it comes to infielders, and Orlando Hudson is the guy controlling the record player. Specifically, the Nats, Twins, Reds, Tigers Rockies and maybe the Mariners and Rays could all use infield help, while Hudson, Adam Kennedy, Felipe Lopez, Orlando Cabrera and Melvin Mora are all looking for work. Rosenthal calls Hudson “the linchpin,” and that once he signs all of those other guys and teams will pair off.

I think I’ll stop at three metaphors.

Anyway, you know the final embers of the hot stove are starting to cool — four! — when everything that remains to be done depends on a guy who lost his job to Ron Belliard last year.

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.