Based on his performance last season Javier Vazquez would have had little trouble securing a sizable one-year deal as a free agent this winter, but the 35-year-old right-hander told interested teams that he was leaning toward retirement and never signed.
He still hasn’t officially decided to call it a career after throwing 193 innings with a 3.69 ERA for the Marlins last season, but Vazquez told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he’s been considering retirement for 3-4 years and is unlikely to make a midseason comeback.
“Right now, I’m not missing it,” Vazquez said, noting that he has three children under eight years old. He did, however, indicate that returning to the mound to pitch for Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic has some appeal and in the meantime it wouldn’t be surprising if some pitching-starved team tried to change his mind in a couple months.
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.
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.