Padres and Carlos Quentin avoid arbitration with one-year, $7.25 million contract

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Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said earlier this month that he acquired Carlos Quentin from the White Sox with the idea of eventually signing him to a contract extension. Those talks have apparently been tabled for now, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.025 million contract.

Quentin, 29, batted .254/.340/.499 with 24 home runs, 77 RBI and an .838 OPS over 483 plate appearances last season with the White Sox.

While Quentin can become a free agent following the 2012 season, it’s probably a good idea to see how his skills translate to the spacious PETCO Park before engaging in contract talks. In addition to concerns about his defense and a potential drop in power, the southern California native has struggled to stay healthy during his six years in the majors.

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.