Rangers table long-term extension talks with Mike Napoli

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According to beat writer T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are no longer aiming to work out a long-term contract extension this winter with catcher Mike Napoli. Here’s general manager Jon Daniels:

“We love Mike and we’re not closing the door on anything but right now we are focused on a one-year deal.”

Napoli is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility and will hit the free agent market with a bang next fall if the two sides fail to work out a long-term deal at some point during the 2012 campaign.

The 30-year-old catcher batted .320/.414/.631 with 30 home runs and 75 RBI in 113 regular season games last year for Texas before going 19-for-58 (.328) with three homers and 15 RBI in the playoffs.

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.