Giants sign Elmer Dessens to a minor league contract

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Elmer Dessens has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Giants, with Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reporting that the deal will pay $600,000 if the veteran right-hander makes the team out of spring training.

Dessens spent the past two seasons with the Mets and posted a 2.71 ERA in 80 innings, but that success came from an awful lot of smoke and mirrors as he managed just 30 strikeouts compared to 26 walks.

He’s certainly not a bad pickup on a minor-league deal and Dessens is capable of being a decent middle reliever or long man in the Giants’ bullpen, but don’t expect his 2009/2010 success to continue at age 40.

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.