Report: The Blue Jays are the high bidders for Yu Darvish

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As we noted last night, nothing will be official until next week, but the New York Post is reporting that the Blue Jays have made the highest bid for negotiating rights for Japanese sensation Yu Darvish.

The Post reports that “according to several sources with knowledge of the situation,” the Blue Jays owner, Rogers Communications, ordered the team to bid upwards of $40-50 million for the rights to negotiate with Darvish. If they are the winners, they would then have 30 days to get him under contract, which could cost an additional $75 million, many speculate.

The Blue Jays landing Darvish would make the AL East pretty interesting next year. The Jays were just a .500 team in 2011, but they have a core of great talent with Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie — who would get more than 43 games in 2012 — and Ricky Romero.

With Darvish in the fold, the Jays would officially obtain “frisky” status, no?

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.