Seems early for rumor season, but I guess it’s starting: according to Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have expressed interest in acquiring Matt Garza.
There were concerns about the depth of the Jays’ starters since before the season began. And though they haven’t been nearly as bad as some more pessimistic prognosticators prognasticated, their pitching staff is still below average in the AL while their competitive prospects — only three games out in the east — remain decent. Makes sense that they might want a starts.
As for the Cubs, we already mentioned that everything that isn’t nailed down can be had. Really: you should make them an offer. You could get Matt Garza yourself. Maybe he’s a good cook. You never know!
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.