Chad Qualls drawing interest from six teams

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Free agent reliever Chad Qualls turned in an ugly 7.32 ERA and 1.80 WHIP across 59 innings for the Diamondbacks and Rays in 2010 and drew very little interest during the early part of this offseason.  But that is starting to change as reliever-needy teams look to fill their bullpens.

According to Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group, Qualls is now drawing legitimate interest from six teams, including the Oakland A’s.

The Mets also made contact with his representatives earlier this winter.

Qualls shouldn’t command more than $1.5 million on a one-year contract and may be able to bounce back in a low-pressure middle relief role.  He still boasts a healthy 3.82 career ERA and 1.27 career WHIP in 460 total major league appearances.

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.