Rangers and Cubs close to Matt Garza deal, but won’t be completed tonight

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Earlier tonight, reports indicated that a trade between the Rangers and Cubs involving Matt Garza was imminent, but it hit a “snag”. Although the two sides remain very close on the terms of a trade, it won’t be completed tonight, says Jeff Wilson.

Jeff Passan reported that the deal included prospects Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, and C.J. Edwards. Olt was rated the #22 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com entering the 2013 season. The third baseman made his Major League debut on August 2 last year, but did not have much success in his first go-around in the Majors. With Triple-A Round Rock, the 24-year-old Olt has a .208/.311/.394 line in 257 trips to the plate.

Ramirez is a 24-year-old right-hander currently starting for Double-A Frisco. In 92 innings, he has a 3.33 ERA  with 113 strikeouts. Edwards is a 21-year-old right-hander with Single-A Hickory of the South Atlantic League. In 93.1 innings, he has a 1.83 ERA with 122 strikeouts.

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.