Orioles among six teams interested in reliever Koji Uehara

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Two weeks ago the Orioles declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re now interested in re-signing the 36-year-old reliever. And they have plenty of company.

According to Connolly at least six teams have expressed interest in Uehara, with the Orioles being joined by the Twins, Red Sox, Mariners, Brewers, and Cardinals.

Connolly speculates that the Orioles could have the edge if they offer Uehara a chance to close again after he saved 13 games in 15 chances this year, but Baltimore is unlikely to offer him a multi-year contract and another team may step up with a two-year deal.

He couldn’t stay healthy as a starter, but Uehara was amazingly good after shifting to the bullpen with a 2.86 ERA, .220 opponents’ batting average, and 55/5 K/BB ratio in 44 innings, including an absurd 45/2 K/BB ratio in the second half.

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.