The Phillies signed Scott Podsednik to a minor league deal

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Not the biggest thing in the world, but if the release of Scott Podsednik is big enough for us to comment on, I suppose his signing — by a contender no less — is big enough too.

This move is clearly about insurance for the Phillies, as Shane Victorino is hurt and Charlie Manuel has a lot riding on young kids and a toasted veteran in that outfield.

Reader Jonny5, however — who sent me this link — thinks it’s more of a defensive move by Philly, inasmuch as Podsednik has killed the Phillies in the past (.316/.384/.443; not bad for him) and Ruben Amaro simply doesn’t want Florida or Atlanta or someone getting him.

That Amaro. Always two steps ahead …

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.