Giants decline options on Barry Zito, Andres Torres

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A couple of easy decisions here for the Giants …

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the San Francisco front office has officially declined an $18 million club option on left-hander Barry Zito and a club option of unknown value on outfielder Andres Torres. The players are now free agents.

Zito, 35, posted a brutal 5.74 ERA (58 ERA+) across 133 1/3 innings during the 2013 regular season — the final chapter of that seven-year, $126 million free agent contract that he received in December 2006.

Torres, also 35, hit .250/.302/.342 with two home runs in 300 plate appearances this past summer.

Zito got a $7 million buyout from the Giants. It’s not clear whether Torres got anything.

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.