The Rockies freed up $7 million this morning by sending former closer Huston Street to the Padres. Now they may use a portion of those funds to ink another ex-closer, Colorado resident Brad Lidge.
After overcoming arm problems, Lidge posted a 1.40 ERA in 19 1/3 innings for the Phillies last season. He also pitched two scoreless innings against the Cardinals in the NLDS. His velocity is well down following shoulder surgery, but by throwing his slider the majority of the time, he’s still proven pretty tough to hit. The league has batted .194 and .225 against him the last two years.
If signed, Lidge would help set up for Rafael Betancourt in Colorado. He’s probably looking for a guarantee in the $4 million range, with incentives that could take him above that.
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.