Cliff Lee says he’d go to Texas if they give him a sixth year

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File this under “man, I dunno . . .” but Yahoo!’s Tim Brown reports that Cliff Lee has told his Rangers teammates that a sixth year would get him to re-sign with the Rangers. It’s suspected that the Rangers are offering five.

What’s unclear from the report is what happens if the Rangers and the Yankees offer him six years. Which makes me think that this is the kind of thing designed to get the Yankees to, you know, offer six years.

I still think that the Rangers should stay away, save their dough and make Neftali Feliz a starter. I think that the Yankees will make this something less of a choice for Texas than a necessity. I can’t see New York not getting their man.

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.