The Red Sox don't want to sign Bay, no matter what they say

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An unnamed executive is telling Rosenthal and Morosi that, even though the Red Sox continue to negotiate with Jason Bay, they probably don’t want to sign him as long as Matt Holliday is out there.

Why?  Compensation pick politics.  If they lose the type-A free agent Bay, they get two picks — a first round compensation pick and a sandwich pick — while signing Holliday simply costs them the first round pick. Even better: the first round pick they get back for Bay would likely be higher than the pick they give up for taking Holliday.

I think Holliday is the better choice anyway — he’s younger and plays better defense — but with the picks breaking out like they are, a BoSox push for his services makes all kinds of sense.

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.