This from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
Hard to read the Cubs, since they’re building for the future while also signing veteran pitchers. [Matt] Garza still has to show teams in spring training that his injured elbow is OK; the Cubs would listen on a possible deal.
Garza missed the final two months of the 2012 season due to a stress reaction in his right elbow, but he’s enjoyed a normal offseason to this point and is expected to be fully healthy when major league camp opens in February.
The 29-year-old boasts a stellar 3.52 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 in 49 total starts with the Cubs. He is eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this season, which means he’ll be a free agent in the fall.
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.