Damon: "My price is too high right now"

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This just in: Johnny Damon is pessimistic about a return to the Yankees (from the New York Post, via Sporting News).

“I know I don’t fit their payroll,” Damon said. “We’ve had a little bit of communication with them, but my price is too high right now. I don’t think I’m their solution.”

Despite the Yankees’ signing of Nick Johnson, it’s conceivable that Damon could return to the Bronx. The Yankees can’t be comfortable with Brett Gardner as their everyday left fielder can they? If Damon just lowers his asking price, maybe something will get done. Even Damon seems to allude to that with his “my price is too high right now” comment.

I just hope someone signs him soon, because the world really doesn’t need any more of this. Ever.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

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.