Cardinals, Indians, Padres close to a three-way deal involving Westbrook, Ludwick

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UPDATE: Harmonic convergence between the Westbrook and Ludwick rumors.  It’s a three-way deal. The Padres get Ryan Ludwick. The Cardinals get Jake Westbrook and a prospect from the Padres. The Indians get prospects only, one of whom is known to be AA pitcher Corey Kluber. Tom Krasovic says it’s done all except for the union OK.

This is a bit of a head-scratcher for St. Louis, I think. Westbrook is a nice addition and gives them a strong 1-4 rotation, but they really can’t afford to lose a bat at the moment.

11:53 A.M.Anthony Castrovince is now saying that a third team may be involved in the Westbrook deal.

11:25 A.M.: Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians and Cardinals are close to a deal for Jake Westbrook.

As D.J. noted last night, he seems like a pretty good fit for St. Louis.  As Aaron noted a few minutes ago, he’s still listed as the starter for today’s Indians game.  I’m guessing we’ll hear about him being scratched for someone else before we hear about the deal actually going down.

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.