Rangers “recently met with” free agent Zack Greinke

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Here’s the report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

The Rangers, hoping to lure top free-agent target Zack Greinke with their winning ways and strong roster, recently met with the pitcher, sources said.

The Dodgers are widely considered the favorite for Greinke because of their seemingly-endless budget and the right-hander’s desire for a record-breaking deal. But the Rangers can spend with the best of ’em and could have quite a bit of expendable cash if they don’t re-sign Josh Hamilton.

The Angels have also met recently with Greinke and his representatives, and the Nationals could be a darkhorse.

Greinke posted a stellar 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200/54 K/BB ratio in 212 1/3 innings this past season between Milwaukee and Anaheim. The 29-year-old boasts a 3.77 career ERA and a 1.25 career WHIP.

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.