Cubs re-sign Rodrigo Lopez to minor-league contract

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Rodrigo Lopez did a decent job in 98 innings for the Cubs last season, posting a 4.42 ERA in 16 starts and 10 relief outings, and he’ll return to Chicago on a minor-league contract.

His deal includes an invitation to spring training, but the 36-year-old right-hander will likely be competing for a long-relief role at most considering the Cubs’ rotation is all but set.

Lopez threw 200 innings for the Rockies in 2010, but that came with a 5.00 ERA and league-high 37 homers allowed. He also served up 18 homers in 98 innings last season, which along with sub par strikeout rates and mediocre control makes him a pretty marginal big leaguer at this point.

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.