Royals’ reliever Jeremy Jeffress was arrested in January following a domestic dispute

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According to the Associated Press, Royals right-hander Jeremy Jeffress was arrested last month in Arizona following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Jeffress, who was acquired from the Brewers last offseason as part of the Zack Greinke trade, was booked for assault, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

The first two charges were dismissed, but Jeffress was sentenced to serve 20 hours of community service for the disorderly conduct charge and required to attend a domestic violence counseling class.

Jeffress apologized for his actions via a statement from the Royals after the arrest was made public earlier today:

“There was an argument between myself and my girlfriend and I lost my temper, but I never put my hands on her.”

“There are consequences in what you do or say. I’ve disappointed my family and the name on the back of my jersey. I just want to make it clear this is not me.”

It’s not clear if he’ll face any discipline from the Royals, but general manager Dayton Moore said, “we stand behind Jeremy at this point based on the information we have received.” On an unrelated note, Jeffress was suspended twice during his time as a Brewers’ farmhand for testing positive for marijuana.

Jeffress, 24, made the Royals’ Opening Day roster last year, but was sent down to the minors in May after posting a 4.70 ERA and 13/11 K/BB ratio over 15 1/3 innings. The hard-throwing reliever wasn’t any better following his demotion, compiling a 5.50 ERA and 44/40 K/BB ratio over 55 2/3 innings between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. The Royals have plenty of quality bullpen depth right now, so it’s probably best that Jeffress continues to work on his command in the minors.

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.