Nationals sign Chris Young to minor league deal

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I keep writing about how the Nationals have stockpiled lots of depth for part-time roles and Triple-A, and they keep stockpiling even more depth.

The latest is right-hander Chris Young, who agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. He’ll be showing up fashionably late, obviously.

Young has basically never been healthy, topping 175 innings once in nine years, but after missing most of 2009-2011 he came back to make 20 decent starts for the Mets last season. His average fastball clocked in at 85 miles per hour, which doesn’t fit his 6-foot-10 frame, but even at his peak Young worked in the high-80s and his career ERA is 3.79.

As far as no-risk pickups in mid-February go, he’s a pretty solid one.

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.