Scott Schoeneweis says Brewers released him 'because my wife died'

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Milwaukee released Scott Schoeneweis today after signing him to a minor-league contract about six weeks ago and the veteran left-hander had some harsh words on his way out the door:

The only regret I have is that I wasted a month of my time. I didn’t have a chance to make the team. That’s what I learned today. I’m a big league pitcher and I shouldn’t have to prove anything. This will be my 12th year in the big leagues and I wasn’t injured, I wasn’t out of the game because my skills diminished. … It’s just ironic that I can’t get a job because my wife died. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

Schoeneweis has no doubt had a very rough time since his wife passed away from an overdose of cocaine and lidocaine last May–and I’m certainly not here to pick on him–but I’m sure the Brewers would vehemently deny that had anything to do with his release.
He was brought in to compete for a middle-relief job after posting a 7.12 ERA last season, and while there’s a tragic explanation for those struggles at 36 years old he certainly did have to prove himself again. Instead he continued to struggle this spring and the Brewers apparently felt like they had better (or younger) options given that his upside is a left-handed specialist.
I don’t blame Schoeneweis for being frustrated, on several different levels, but the Brewers signed a 36-year-old pitcher coming off a poor season to a minor-league contract and deciding that he’s not one of their dozen best options for Opening Day shouldn’t come as a huge shock. He turned down the chance to accept an assignment to Triple-A, but seems unlikely to land a major-league offer 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.