The “Jeter wants $150 million” walkback has begun

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That didn’t take long: Jim Baumbach of Newsday is walking back the notion that Jeter really asked for $150 million. He tweets:

Person familiar with Yankees-Jeter negotiations says Jeter camp is not asking for reported $150 million over six years. It’s less than that.

He didn’t say if it’s less money or fewer years or both.

While keeping in mind the notion that negotiations are fluid things and that people leaking things always have agendas and counter-agendas when it comes to this sort of thing, I am not really all that inclined to believe that Bill Madden’s report of the demand was wrong. Thew incentives for someone in the “Jeter/Close camp” to make that up are low. The incentives for them to deny that now — after a few hours of mockery over the reported demand — are super high.

My guess: Madden’s information related to a prior demand, since laughed out of the room by the Yankees, and now the Baumbach’s source is accurate, technically speaking. If that were the case it doesn’t change the insanity of the demand, and Baumbach’s report doesn’t constitute a denial.

But hey, thank goodness there’s a push on this winter to keep free agent negotiations out of the press!

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.