Zack Greinke will not be the Yankees’ “Plan B”

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Buster Olney passes along word that, in the event the Yankees don’t get Cliff Lee, they will likely not pursue Zack Greinke as a “Plan B,” which is what many have assumed they’d do. Buster doesn’t say why, but I assume it has to do with the concerns about his makeup/anxiety disorder and, oh yeah, the fact that they’d probably have to give up Jesus Montero just to get the conversation rolling.

To that end, today Jayson Stark details why neither the Yankees nor the Rangers look like great matches for Kansas City in a Greinke trade.  The upshot: it’s going to take a lot of young talent. At the moment, no teams seem all that eager to give up the kind of load the Royals are seeking.

My guess, though: the load the Royals are seeking shrinks with each passing week between now and February.

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.