Brewers sign Jonathan Lucroy to $11 million extension

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UPDATE: Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the deal is for five years and $11 million in guaranteed money.

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Jonathan Lucroy and the Brewers are on the verge of agreeing to a multi-year contract extension, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

No details yet, but Rosenthal reports that the extension will be for either four or five years. Lucroy won’t even be arbitration eligible for the first time until 2014, so a four-year deal would simply be pre-paying for his arbitration seasons and a fifth year would buy out his first season of free agency in 2017.

If that happens Lucroy will be one of the least accomplished players to ever sign a long-term extension, as the 26-year-old catcher has hit just .260 with a .307 on-base percentage and .366 slugging percentage in 211 games. He started 114 of 162 games last season, but posted a modest .703 OPS that ranked 17th among the 21 catchers with at least 100 games.

Lucroy is certainly capable of more production and always showed good on-base skills in the minors, but right now he looks like more of a role player than a long-term building block.

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.