Report: Braves and Dan Uggla agree to five-year, $62 million extension

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Braves and Dan Uggla have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a five-year, $62 million contract.

Some thought Uggla may have been pushing his luck when he turned down a four-year, $48 million extension from the Marlins in November, leading to a trade to the Braves. But you see, it was a different time back then. Fortunately for him, the subsequent months have worked in his favor. Sure, Uggla turns 31 years old in March and is still a defensive liability at second base, but this contract doesn’t look so nutty anymore.

According to Rosenthal, Uggla will now have the highest average annual salary ever ($12.4 million) for a second baseman. While Chase Utley signed a seven-year, $85 million contract with the Phillies before the 2007 season, his annual salary checks in at just over $12.1 million.

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.