Vlad’s deal: $5 million now, $3 million deferred

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I was rather surprised when Vladimir Guerrero got $8 million.  We have some more details on it now and I suppose it’s slightly better for the O’s: it will be $5 million in 2011, with the other $3 million deferred over several years.

Still seems like a lot for a guy who didn’t appear to have anyone else bidding for him.  And it’s the second one-year deal I can think of off the top of my head that has deferred money this winter. The other is Carlos Pena’s deal with the Cubs.  I guess it makes some modicum of financial sense for the club, but it does seem odd that they’re agreeing to pay a guy who is almost 100% certain to not be on the team again after this one year.

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.