Jorge De La Rosa will hit the market

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The Rockies tried to get  Jorge De La Rosa signed to an extension late this season, but that’s apparently not going to happen now and the team is resigned to the fact that he’s going to hit the market. They’re not sweating it, though:

“When players get this close to free agency, unless they are completely overwhelmed with an offer, they really want to see what the market will bear. That’s part of the process,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “We continue to have a strong desire to bring him back. The conversations have been great.”
It’s got to be a great year to be a free agent pitcher given how thin the market is. I mean, as a fallback option after De La Rosa, the Denver Post story mentions Jake Westbrook — who most are assuming will stay in St. Louis — and Javier Vazquez.  If you’re De La Rosa’s agent, I bet your negotiation is pretty easy:  “Here is what we want. If that’s not acceptable to you, here is Javier Vazquez’s phone number. Good luck with that.”

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.