Carlos Zambrano would waive his no-trade clause

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Carlos Zambrano, who re-joined the team today, told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that he loves Chicago, but will waive his no-trade clause if the Cubs approach him with a potential trade. That’s awful nice of him given that he’s basically lost whatever minimal trade value he already had.

Here’s the quote, via Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

“Yeah,” he said. “If they come to me and say they want to trade me, I
will say ‘yes.’… If they think they need better players and need to
move you…”

Earlier today, Buster Olney of ESPN told us that the Cubs are “resigned” to the fact that if they are able to trade Zambrano, it will happen during the offseason. Even if Big Z wasn’t a headcase, he would be extremely difficult to move. Zambrano is on tap to make $17.9 million in 2011, $18 million in 2012 and has a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013.

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.