Marlins among several teams interested in Smoltz

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that the Brewers and Dodgers are interested in John Smoltz, and now Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that the Marlins are also in the mix for the 42-year-old right-hander. Rodriguez notes that Smoltz has a relationship with Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez from their time together in Atlanta and speculates that he may want to return to the NL East.
There’s really no need for teams to go after Smoltz until he’s released by the Red Sox later this week, but once that happens it’ll be interesting to see if anyone offers him a rotation spot. Every indication is that Smoltz would prefer to continue starting and Rodriguez speculates that the Marlins, for instance, could make him their fifth starter instead of Sean West or Rick VandenHurk. However, it sure seems like a move back to the bullpen would be best for everyone involved at this point.

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.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.