Nationals re-sign Mike MacDougal to minors deal

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Released by the Marlins earlier this week, Mike MacDougal has re-signed with the Nationals on a minor-league deal.
MacDougal had a 3.60 ERA in 50 innings and converted 20-of-21 save chances in Washington last season, but his 31/31 K/BB ratio and incredibly inconsistent track record kept him from getting any big-league offers. Mike Capps is now the Nationals’ closer, but MacDougal could get a look in a middle-relief role.
He throws hard and can be extremely tough to hit at times, but more often than not MacDougal struggles to find the strike zone and has a 4.91 ERA with nearly as many walks (83) as strikeouts (85) in 114 total innings over the past three seasons.

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.