Marlins sign Shawn Hill to a minor league contract

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The Marlins have signed Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The 29-year-old right-hander will receive an invite to major league spring training and will make $600,000 if he makes the team.

The native Canadian was released by the Blue Jays in November after posting a 2.61 ERA and 14/4 K/BB ratio over four starts as a September call-up. He spent most of last season rehabbing from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, posting a 1.61 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio over 11 minor league outings.

Hill has averaged 2.79 BB/9 over 239 major league innings and has a career ground ball rate of 48.9 percent, so there’s some upside here if he’s finally healthy. He’ll function as an insurance policy more than anything else.

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.