Two random items on a slow news day (non-Mike Leake theft division):
First, Jon Heyman writes that, in the offseason, Alex Rodriguez “begged the Yankees” to re-sign Melky Cabrera. Seems that Melky worked out with A-Rod in the offseason and was convinced that he’d be great.
I’ve seen Melky play a couple of times this year. He does look like he’s in better shape than he was last year for Atlanta. However, he looks like the same Melky we’ve always known at the plate: 70 plate appearances. One walk. Attention A-Rod: please come to the park and hit the snot out of the ball and leave the scouting to the scouting department.
Second, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com notes that with Asdrubal Cabrera playing shortstop for the Indians, Orlando Cabrera playing second and Melky Cabrera playing for the Royals, “we have a realistic shot at a groundout that goes Cabrera to Cabrera to Cabrera.”
I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.
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.