MLB grants Mets extension for discussions with Takahashi

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As Aaron pointed out earlier today, the Mets have been working hard to get an extension on their deadline for contract talks with impending free agent Hisanori Takahashi.  A clause in the left-hander’s contract states that a deal must be worked between the two sides by October 31 of this year, but Takahashi changed agents recently and the Mets have argued that they should now be granted more time to sort out negotiations.

That extension was granted late Thursday evening, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.

It’s not exactly clear how long the Mets will have to work out a deal, but Waldstein adds that preliminary discussions have “already begun.”

Takahashi, 35, posted a solid 3.61 ERA and 1.30 WHIP this season, working as both a starter and reliever.  He finished with 114 strikeouts in 122 innings and even saved eight games once closer Francisco Rodriguez was placed on the restricted list for assaulting his girlfriend’s father.

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.