Sammy Sosa is no Cubs fan

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“The Cubs threw me into the fire. They made people think I’m a monster.”

— Sammy Sosa on the Cubs in a forthcoming in-depth interview with Chicago Magazine in which he describes how he has no current relationship with the Cubs and how everything is just icky.  The interview is not available online yet, but will be on newsstands tomorrow. A summary of the interview can be found here.

As for Sosa’s reputation in Chicago, I don’t know that anyone has much to be proud of. I’d like to think that the Cubs would be the bigger man about things in light of how much marketing mojo (and of course baseball production) Sosa brought to the north side over the years.  At the same time, Sosa’s final years in Chicago — corked bats, PEDs, sulking and all the rest — make him a hard figure to love.

My guess is that they’ll be like one of those old bands that get together years later, with all of the past strife fading into distant memory. Of course, none of those reunions every bring forth anything memorable either, so we’ll all wonder what the point was.

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.