Skip Schumaker signs two-year deal with the Reds

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Skip Schumaker has agreed to a two-year contract with the Reds, whose general manager Walt Jocketty was GM’ing the Cardinals when they drafted Schumaker back in 2001.

After six seasons with the Cardinals he spent this year as a part-time player for the Dodgers, hitting .263 with two homers and a .665 OPS in 125 games. Schumaker hasn’t topped a .725 OPS since 2009, will be 34 years old soon, and isn’t very good defensively, but he has experience at second base and all three outfield spots and has decent on-base skills.

Still, a multi-year deal for a 34-year-old bench player coming off a so-so season is more evidence that spending is going to be wacky this offseason.

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.