Report: The Rockies remain interested in Mets’ infielder Justin Turner

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The Rockies’ efforts to acquire Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox fizzled rather quickly, but they aren’t ready to throw in the towel on their search for another option at second base.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies “remain strongly interested” in Mets’ infielder Justin Turner. This isn’t the first time Turner has been linked to the Rockies, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported last month that he was being mentioned as part of a potential deal that would bring speedster Eric Young, Jr. to New York.

Turner, who was claimed off waivers from the Orioles in May of 2010, batted .260/.334/.356 with four home runs, 51 RBI, seven stolen bases and a .690 OPS with the Mets last season while making 71 starts at second base and 31 at the hot corner. He currently projects as a backup at both positions for the Mets in 2012, which is probably how he’s best utilized in the long-term. As of now, Chris Nelson, D.J. LeMahieu and Jonathan Herrera figure to compete for the Rockies’ second base job during spring training.

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.