Rangers claim Shawn Tolleson off waivers from Dodgers

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As teams do 40-man roster shuffling ahead of today’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft the Dodgers dropped right-hander Shawn Tolleson and the Rangers claimed him off waivers.

Tolleson was sidelined by back and hip injuries for most of this season, but he’s 25 years old with an incredible 1.34 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 128 innings as a minor leaguer and pitched reasonably well for the Dodgers as a rookie last season.

It’s surprising that the Dodgers cut him loose so quickly and also surprising that he made it all the way to the Rangers on the waiver wire. If healthy he seems likely to snag a setup job in Texas’ bullpen next year.

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.