J.D. Drew, alligator hunting expert/crazy person

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Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has an amusing anecdote from Red Sox camp in Florida, where NESN announcer Don Orsillo spotted an alligator in the pond behind the condo he’s living in and wondered whether it could be hunted.

J.D. Drew was eventually brought in as the expert, because he’s from Florida and, as Abraham writes, is familiar with hunting gators:

According to J.D., you can hunt alligators with a bow and arrow or a gun. Or you can use his method. Drew said he was in a boat with his son once when they hooked an alligator with a fishing lure. He had his son hold the pole and took position to try and leap on the alligator. “I figured I could get him myself,” he said. “He was about five or six feet.”

“With your bare hands?” I asked.

J.D. gave me his best “no, you stupid city boy” look. “I had a knife,” he said.

But the line snapped and the gator got away. J.D. missed his chance. So next time you read about J.D. missing a game with a bad hamstring and consider complaining, consider that this is a guy who was willing to jump out of a perfectly good boat and attack a man-sized alligator with a knife.

My dad once asked me to hold the hood of his car up while he changed the oil and I had to think twice about it, so it’s worth noting that Drew’s kid seems pretty badass too.

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.