Red Sox show interest in Colorado’s Ryan Spilborghs

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For about three years now, the Red Sox have alternated between showing interest in Ryan Spilborghs and Chris Iannetta from the Rockies.  Maybe they’ll actually get one of the two this time.

A NL source confirmed to CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam that Boston is again interested in Spilborghs and that the Rockies have a scout at Fenway Park tonight.  That last part doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — it’s hard to see the Red Sox dealing someone from the current major league roster for Spilborghs — but who really knows?

Spilborghs’ trade value is as low as it’s ever been.  He’s hit just .223/.303/.324 with three homers in 179 at-bats this season, and he’s at a totally unacceptable .135/.196/.202 in 89 at-bats away from Coors Field.

Still, the 31-year-old Spilborghs has turned in a few excellent seasons as a part-timer.  He finished with OPSs of .848 in 2007, .875 in 2008 and .797 last year while averaging about 270 at-bats per season.  He’s used most often against lefties, but he hit righties just fine, too, with a career .751 OPS (.811 versus southpaws).

If the Red Sox get him, it would like to be serve as a right fielder against left-handers.  Both Josh Reddick and J.D. Drew are left-handed hitters and Darnell McDonald has been a pretty big bust in his chances to face lefties this season, though he has picked it up of late.

The Red Sox, though, wouldn’t give up much for him.  While Spilborghs is under control for next year, he’ll cost a bit more than $2 million in arbitation, so he would be a non-tender candidate.  The Rockies would have been far more likely to get a legitimate prospect for him had they moved him last year.

Update: McAdam added some clarification on his previous tweet:

Should have made clear: Rockies scout at Fenway not looking for return on a Spilborghs deal. Would be mid-level prospect only on exchange

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.