No kidding: David Ortiz is being sued by Jay-Z

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According to ABCNews.com, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z (and his associates) filed a suit Thursday in Manhattan federal court accusing Red Sox first baseman David Ortiz of “marketplace confusion and damage” for opening a “Forty/Forty” night club in the Dominican Republic.

Jay-Z owns like-named “40/40” clubs in New York City, Las Vegas and Atlantic City along with business partner Juan Perez. 

“David Ortiz is fully aware of plaintiff’s Manhattan 40/40
Club, since he had been a patron there on several occasions long before
he opened his infringing Forty/Forty Club,” reads the suit.

Jay-Z is well known for being a Yankees fan, and even claims to have made the “Yankee cap more famous than a Yankee can,” in the criminally overplayed “Empire State of Mind.”  There’s probably a joke to be made here about New York pulling a fast one on Boston, or the Red Sox copying off the Yankees yet again, but this story really is plenty funny all by itself.  And Big Papi is struggling enough at the plate.

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.