The Yankees spoke with Edwin Jackson’s agent

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Missed this the other day, but since it’s “collect every tenuous rumor” season around here, may as well add it to the pile:  the Yankees met with Edwin Jackson’s agent the other day for “preliminary discussions.”

Not too interesting in and of itself. The Yankees need pitching so they’re obviously going to talk to tons of pitchers, partially out of interest, partially to signal to the guys they are interested in that they have other options. Conversations with  Jackson’s people could be a Mark Buehrle or C.J. Wilson negotiating ploy. Frankly, that kind of stuff interests me way more than actually considering Edwin Jackson pitching in New York.

At some point someone should write the definitive book about the hot stove season. How it works, collecting war stories. Getting people to dish on all of the crazy stuff that actually happens in negotiations.  We often get standalone stories like that after a big signing — “inside the Carl Crawford negotiation!” — but I’d read 300 pages about that kind of thing if it was out there, wouldn’t you?

Anyway, Jackson is 28 and has electric stuff that sometimes looks awesome and sometimes looks terrible. He’s one of those dudes who has already pitched for a zillion teams and I imagine he’ll be in Kenny Lofton/Matt Stairs territory before it’s all done.  I have a hard time seeing him in pinstripes on a four-year deal.

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.