Dodgers bring back Gagne

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The Dodgers have come to terms with former closer Eric Gagne on a minor league contract, the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez reports.
Gagne was also offered a minor league deal by the Rockies. Coming back from a shoulder injury, he pitched in the independent Can-Am League last year and went 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings as a starter. He was last seen in the majors with the Brewers in 2008.
Gagne will enter camp as a major long shot to crack the Dodgers’ staff, but if he’s willing to head to Triple-A for a couple of months, he might be able to work his way back. It would, of course, be his second stint for the team. Gagne won a Cy Young Award in 2003 and saved 161 games in parts of eight seasons with the Dodgers.

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.