More developments here in the hunt for free agent right-hander Brandon Webb.
The NL Central “mystery” team that was mentioned earlier by ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark has been identified by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com as the Cincinnati Reds. Rosenthal believes that Webb is now choosing between Texas and Cincinnati.
The 31-year-old righty knows Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and Cincy trainer Paul Lessard from their days together with the Diamondbacks, but he also has connections with Rangers medical director Keith Meister.
In the end, it’s going to come down to money. Which team will offer the 31-year-old right-hander more in base salary and more in performance-based incentives?
The Yankees have also been monitoring the negotiations and could always decide to swoop in with a last-minute proposal.
Webb is expected to decide on a landing spot within the next couple of days.
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.
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.