Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration has already cost the Brewers LaTroy Hawkins

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By accepting arbitration last night Francisco Rodriguez shook up the Brewers’ offseason plans, forcing them to potentially step away from other free agents like Aramis Ramirez and Takashi Saito because he takes up so much of their remaining payroll space.

That could change if the Brewers end up trading Rodriguez or ownership signs off on more money to spend, but in the meantime Rodriguez’s decision has already cost them LaTroy Hawkins.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers “had Hawkins all but re-signed” but told him they wanted to wait to make things official until after Rodriguez made his decision.

Hawkins opted not to wait and instead agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Angels after the 38-year-old threw 48 innings with a 2.42 ERA and just one homer allowed for Milwaukee in 2011.

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.