Yankees acquire Brandon McCarthy from Diamondbacks

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As first reported by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the Yankees have acquired right-handed starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says pitcher Vidal Nuno is headed to Arizona in return.

McCarthy has posted an ugly 4.75 ERA (80 ERA+) in 244 2/3 innings since signing a two-year, $15.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks in December 2012. He was great in 2011 and 2012 with the A’s, but Oakland is the most pitcher-friendly environment in the majors and Arizona is just the opposite. Yankee Stadium isn’t too kind on pitchers either.

Nuno, a 26-year-old left-hander, owns a 4.78 ERA (84 ERA+) in 98 career major league innings (17 starts and five relief appearances). He will presumably join the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation this week.

This could be the beginning of a firesale in Arizona, where Tony La Russa is now in charge of baseball decisions and everybody but first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is thought to be available.

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.