The Ozzie-to-Florida maneuvering is beginning

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A year or two ago there was a bunch of talk about how the Marlins were hot for Ozzie Guillen, with rumors shooting here and there about the Marlins giving up a player for him and what have you.  That was mostly shouted down — semi-convincingly — but the resignation of Edwin Rodriguez and the fact that there will be an opening in Florida at the end of Jack McKeon’s interim stint this fall is likely to get it all chugging again.

Enter Joe Cowley’s latest piece in the Sun-Times:

A team source told the Sun-Times over the weekend that before leaving for the recent road trip, manager Ozzie Guillen ­approached chairman Jerry ­Reinsdorf about his long-term status beyond the 2012 season and didn’t like what he heard.

Which leads to the classic Guillen quotes about how this is no big deal, but at some point someone needs to tell him that he’s wanted or if, alternatively, he’s going to enter 2012 as a lame duck.

In and of itself, not crazy-big news.  Just gossip and Ozzie being Ozzie. But I don’t think it’s crazy to view this as an opening salvo in the coming Ozzie-to-Florida battle

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.