The Reds and Ryan Hanigan agree to a three-year deal

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Ryan Hanigan is something more than a backup catcher for the Reds. It’s a split job, really, with he and Ramon Hernandez each taking roughly half the load (but for an injury to Hanigan last year it would have been closer to even workload).  Hanigan responded to this arrangement fairly well in 2010, hitting .300/.405/.429. It was a spike from his production in a similar amount of play in the previous year, but the Reds apparently think he’s worth rewarding, as Buster Olney reports that the Reds have signed him to a three-year, $4 million deal.

The contract includes $800,000 in incentives. No word on how much of that money will be diverted to a certain Ohio blogger who maintains that Hanigan willfully and wantonly missed a ball while playing long toss at the Reds spring training complex two weeks ago, allowing said ball to strike said blogger in the arm causing grievous bodily injury, pain and suffering.
Rumors that the blogger was fiddling with his phone and not paying attention while standing directly behind Hanigan are unfounded and damn nigh slanderous.

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.