Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann avoid arbitration

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UPDATE: Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Zimmermann will get $5.35 million.

5:50 PM: Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals have avoided arbitration with a one-year deal.

Zimmermann requested $5.8 million in his second season of arbitration eligibility and the Nationals countered at $4.6 million after he threw 196 innings with a 2.94 ERA at age 26.

Zimmermann bounced back from Tommy John elbow surgery remarkably well to establish himself as one of the best young starters in baseball and as a “Super Two” player the Nationals still control him via arbitration for 2014 and 2015.

His hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, so the two sides cut it pretty close.

 

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.