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AL East Notes: Niemann, Yankees, Red Sox, Overbay

Scouts watching Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann this month are wary of his lowered velocity, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  However, one source believes that if they move him to the bullpen, he'll be able to get his velocity up a "tick or two" and restore his trade value.  Here's more out of the AL East..

  • The Yankees are viewing Lyle Overbay as a free three-day look, though he is clearly their best defensive option at first base, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).  The Bombers picked up Overbay shortly after he was cut loose by the Red Sox.
  • The Red Sox ideally would like to keep Jackie Bradley Jr. in the minors for the first few weeks of the season to delay the start of his service time clock, but the club's sense of urgency may alter those plans, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.  If the Red Sox send Bradley to Triple-A Pawtucket for the first nine games of the season, he won't be eligible for free agency until 2019.
  • The Yankees have reassembled a 2006 All-Star team, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.  The Bombers have eight of 30 players that received AL MVP votes in the '06 season.
  • The Red Sox have a roster decision to make between Daniel Bard, who has minor league options remaining, and the out-of-options Clayton Mortensen, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Boston has to decide whether Bard will have an easier time getting back on track in the majors or in Triple-A Pawtucket.

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