Rosenthal: Derrek Lee wants at least $8 million

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is hearing from baseball executives that Derrek Lee is looking for a salary around $8-10 million.

He surmises, much like Jon Heyman did last Friday, that such a salary will likely be too high for the Padres, but that the Nationals could still be a fit.

The 35-year-old Lee is asking a little much for someone who posted a .774 OPS last season and dealt with numerous injuries, remember that the market was set by Lance Berkman getting $8 million from the Cardinals and Carlos Pena signing for $10 million (with half of the money deferred) with the Cubs. And they didn’t exactly set the world on fire last season, either.

In a world where Adam LaRoche is apparently getting a three-year, $21 million offer from the Orioles and Lee has expressed a willingness to sign a one-year deal, this request suddenly looks pretty reasonable.

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.