Cubs sign Kevin Gregg to minor league deal

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Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that the Cubs have signed veteran reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract. He will report to the team’s spring training complex in Mesa, Arizona to begin pitching in extended spring training games and will then probably join the bullpen at Triple-A Iowa.

Gregg was released by the Dodgers on April 3 after failing to secure an Opening Day bullpen spot. He posted cool a 0.82 ERA and struck out five batters without issuing a walk in 11 Cactus League innings.

The 34-year-old right-hander had an uninspiring 4.95 ERA, 1.70 WHIP and 37/24 K/BB ratio in 43 2/3 innings last season with the Orioles. He owns a 4.13 career ERA and a 1.38 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.