P McCarthy agrees on ’10 contract with Rangers

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Brandon McCarthy and the Texas Rangers agreed Friday to a one-year, $1.3 million contract, avoiding arbitration for the injury-plagued pitcher.

The Rangers also avoided arbitration with right-hander Dustin Nippert with a one-year, $665,000 deal.

McCarthy was 7-4 with a 4.62 ERA last season, when he was limited to 17 starts (97 1-3 innings) because of a stress fracture in his right throwing shoulder. He was on the disabled list for almost three months.

McCarthy hasn’t pitched a full season since being traded from the Chicago White Sox to Texas for left-hander John Danks before the 2007 season.

He appeared in only 23 games in 2007 because of blisters on his pitching hands and a stress fracture in his shoulder. Then in 2008, he missed four months because of right forearm inflammation.

McCarthy has a career record of 20-24 with a 4.56 ERA in 372 2-3 innings over five seasons with the Chicago White Sox (2005-06) and Texas (2007-09).

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has said McCarthy will go to spring training as a starter, but could wind up in the bullpen. The 6-foot-7 McCarthy made 51 relief appearances for the White Sox in 2006.

Nippert was 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA over 69 2-3 innings in 20 appearances (10 starts) last season and is a potential rotation candidate. He didn’t join the team until early July after beginning the season on the disabled list because of right shoulder soreness.

Nippert has made 81 career appearances (21 starts) for Arizona (2005-07) and Texas (2008-09). He has a 10-11 record with a 5.58 ERA.

Texas still has five players eligible for arbitration, including 17-game winner Scott Feldman, closer Frank Francisco, slugger Josh Hamilton, right-hander Chris Ray, and left-handed reliever C.J. Wilson, who could get a chance to be a starter.

Francisco is the only of the arbitration-eligible players who could become a free agent after the 2010 season.

NOTES: The Rangers announced invitations to major league spring training for six players who are not on their 40-man roster: C Emerson Frostad, LHP Kasey Kiker (first-round pick in 2006), 1B/OF Mitch Moreland, RHP Tanner Scheppers (supplemental first-round pick last summer), 1B Justin Smoak (first-round pick in 2008), and 1B/OF Chad Tracy. … Rangers radio broadcast Eric Nadel, going into his 32nd season with the team, was selected the 2009 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association sportcaster of the year for Texas. It is the fifth time he won the award.