Angels get Alberto Callaspo from Royals for two pitchers

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From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that the Angels have acquired third baseman Alberto Callaspo from the Royals for righty Sean O’Sullivan and minor league left-hander Will Smith.

The Angels opened the season with Brandon Wood at third base and had high hopes for the 25-year-old, but he’s hit just .168/.185/.225 in 173 at-bats and the Halos have struggled to find an answer at the position. 

As a whole, actually, third basemen in Anaheim have posted a combined batting average of .214 this season.  That’s the worst combined batting average at any position, on any team, in the majors.

The 27-year-old Callaspo is a pretty solid defender and has batted .275/.308/.410 with eight homers and 43 RBI in 349 at-bats for the Royals.  The Angels will hope that he can help the club climb closer to the Rangers, who currently hold a five-game lead in the American League West.

Of course, they had to unload some rather serious talent in the three-player swap.  Smith is a fast-rising left-hander and has worked his way to Triple-A at the age of 21.  O’Sullivan, 22, has enjoyed early success in the major leagues, most recently holding the Yankees to two hits over six innings Tuesday in a 10-2 victory.  He’s likely to step right into the Kansas City starting rotation.

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.