It’s been nine days since Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Johan Santana was close to signing a minor-league deal and that hasn’t happened yet, but now Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that the Twins “remain a real possibility” to sign Santana.
According to Martino at least a dozen teams have expressed interest in Santana, who missed all of last season and is a huge question mark at age 34 because of major shoulder problems.
I’m a Twins fan and Santana is my favorite pitcher of all time, so you’d find me at Target Field for every one of his starts this year, but the rotation is already pretty packed after signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes and re-signing Mike Pelfrey.
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.
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.