Orioles’ interest in Ervin Santana “has increased”

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The dominoes are now falling quickly on the starting pitching market, and the Orioles are looking to make an acquisition before the well runs completely dry.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun heard from a source Tuesday that the Orioles front office has increased its show of interest in free agent right-hander Ervin Santana since Bronson Arroyo, a target of the O’s at one point, signed a two-year, $19 million deal last Friday with Diamondbacks.

Santana, 31, posted an outstanding 3.24 ERA and 1.14 WHIP across 32 starts last year for the Royals, striking out 161 batters in 211 innings. His market has been slow-moving because he is tied to draft pick compensation.

Baltimore’s current projected rotation goes Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman. The O’s could push Gausman to the bullpen or start him off at Triple-A Norfolk.

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.