Twins offer Michael Cuddyer two-year, $16 million extension

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Various contending teams called Minnesota about Michael Cuddyer prior to the trade deadline, but the Twins turned down all advances and made it pretty clear that they want to re-sign the 32-year-old impending free agent.

And according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune their attempt to keep Cuddyer in Minnesota began with a two-year, $16 million extension offer.

Christensen reports that “the conversations went no further” with Cuddyer “preferring to hold those negotiations in the offseason.”

And he’s smart to do so. Committing to Cuddyer for much more than two years and $16 million would be a big risk for the Twins, but he’s earning $10.5 million this season and there’s no reason for him to accept a pay cut before at least seeing what the open market is like.

Cuddyer is having arguably his best season, making the All-Star team for the first time and hitting .301 with 18 homers and an .865 OPS in 105 games while seeing action at first base, second base, and his usual right field. It’s hard to imagine him not being able to get $16 million as a free agent and considering the Twins’ unabashed love of Cuddyer it’s also hard to imagine them not increasing the offer if other teams are involved.

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.