Edinson Volquez returns to Reds camp after dealing with visa issues in Dominican Republic

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Edinson Volquez arrived at Reds camp on time last month, but was forbidden from appearing in a game because of visa issues stemming from his 50-game suspension for failing a performance-enhancing drug test last year.

In order to get things straightened out Volquez had to leave spring training and travel home to the Dominican Republic, where further delays kept him from returning to Arizona until today.

Here’s how Volquez described the odd situation to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

I was worried bad. I was like, “I can’t wait anymore, I’ve got to get back to Arizona.” I think I’ll be OK. I threw a little bit down there at the complex. When they told me Monday morning my visa wasn’t ready, I went to the complex. I’ve thrown so many bullpen session and simulated games I feel like I’m going to be ready.

Dusty Baker has already picked Volquez as the Opening Day starter, which likely gives him time to make 3-4 appearances before his first outing of the season.

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.