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Report: Hiroki Kuroda open to deals to Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers

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UPDATE: Want more conflicting information on Hiroki Kuroda? Sure you do.

According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, Kuroda has indicated to the Dodgers that he is open to deals with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers.

While Jon Heyman of SI.com mentioned those same three teams as finalists earlier in the day, a friend of Kuroda told him that he would be surprised if he accepted a trade out of Los Angeles.

3:05 PM: We still don’t know if Hiroki Kuroda has any desire to leave Los Angeles, but teams are still jockeying for position to acquire him.

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers are the “final three” teams in the mix to acquire Kuroda in advance of tomorrow’s trade deadline.

Not surprisingly, we’ve heard conflicting information on the matter today. ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Yankees have taken the lead over the Red Sox in talks while his colleague Buster Olney says the two clubs have not spoken about Kuroda recently.

Kuroda owns a 6-13 record this season, but it distracts from a quality 3.11 ERA and 103/36 K/BB ratio over 133 innings.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported earlier this week that the 36-year-old right-hander could carry draft pick compensation as a Type B free agent this winter. Kuroda is still owed $6.7 million on his contract, most of it in the form of a signing bonus, so this remaining financial obligation could have a major impact on what the Dodgers receive in return.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”