Sherman: Pettitte would have come back if the Yankees had signed Lee

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One thing the Yankee Universe is great at is coveting those who did something great yesterday. And on cue, Joel Sherman writes a column today talking about how great it would have been if the Yankees could have traded for Dan Haren last year. The Dan Haren who three a one-hitter last night.

But the stuff about landing Haren isn’t as interesting as this bit at the end:

In fact, friends of Andy Pettitte had said that the lefty would have come back this year if the Yankees had been able to sign Lee. So maybe he would have felt the same way if the Yankees had Haren and, especially, Oswalt, who is a pal of Pettitte’s from their time together with the Astros.

So this “friend” of Pettitte is suggesting that all of that stuff Pettitte said at his press conference about “not having the hunger” was baloney? That when he said that that Cliff Lee signing with the Phillies didn’t ultimately impact his decision, he was lying?  That, even more so, his comments about how it was the Yankees losing Lee that actually had him closest to coming back because he “felt an obligation” to the Yankees now that they were down a pitcher was just Pettitte blowing smoke?

So I guess what I’m saying is, who ya gonna believe: Pettitte or an anonymous friend of his who contradicts him to a Post columnist?

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.