It’s no secret that the Cubs will do whatever they can to get rid of Carlos Zambrano this offseason and now that Ozzie Guillen is headed to the Marlins there’s speculation that Zambrano could join him in Florida.
Guillen has always been very public in his support of Zambrano over the years and the two Venezuelans are off-field friends, going to dinner together in Chicago after the game that led the Cubs to suspend Zambrano following a dugout scuffle with teammate Derrek Lee last season.
Zambrano has one season and $18 million remaining on his contract and Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago speculates that Guillen will push the Marlins to add him to the rotation, presumably while asking the Cubs to eat a huge portion of that money and take a low-level prospect (or maybe even nothing) in return.
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.
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.