Aramis Ramirez still not ready to waive no-trade

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But that could change next month, agent Paul Kinzer told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal on Monday.

According to Kinzer, while Ramirez is currently unwilling to accept any deal that would take him out of Chicago, he might agree to something after his wife and children return to the Dominican Republic next month.

Even more interesting is that Kinzer said Ramirez would want to waive his 2012 option as part of any deal.  Ramirez has a $16 million club option for 2012 that the Cubs aren’t expected to exercise, but that option would automatically become guaranteed as part of any trade.

Kinzer said Ramirez would rather become a free agent at season’s end than accept a $16 million salary for 2012, and if that’s the case, he’d become quite a bit more attractive to suitors.  Most teams would be scared off by that kind of payout.

Contenders needing help at third base include the Angels, Tigers, Brewers, Pirates, White Sox and Diamondbacks.  The Yankees could also qualify, having Alex Rodriguez might be about ready to return from knee surgery by the time Ramirez is willing to accept a trade.

Ramirez would have to be placed on waivers in order to be dealt in August.

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.