Orioles still interested in Ervin Santana even after signing Ubaldo Jimenez

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Baltimore was linked to Ervin Santana before signing Ubaldo Jimenez to a four-year, $50 million deal and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Orioles are still interesting in added Santana too.

Because they’ve already parted with their first-round draft pick to sign Jimenez the Orioles would only need to give up a second-round pick for Santana. Their second-rounder is 54th overall.

By adding Santana along with Jimenez the Orioles could also address their closer situation by potentially shifting Bud Norris to the bullpen. Right now Tommy Hunter is considered the favorite to replace Jim Johnson in the ninth-inning role. Norris is a career-long starter, but he has a 4.36 ERA and there was actually some talk of the Orioles moving him to the bullpen back in December before they’d even added any rotation help.

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.