Major League Baseball to Frank McCourt: Don’t blame us, pal!

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Frank McCourt’s talking point lately is that his financial problems — which threaten the Dodgers’ ability to meet May payroll — are Major League Baseball’s doing inasmuch as MLB won’t approve his TV deal with FOX.

That line is nonsensical enough on its face and divorced from widely-reported facts, so it’s understandable that no one had taken the effort to officially refute it. But since McCourt won’t shut up about it, Selig’s second-in-command Rob Manfred apparently decided enough was enough. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times passes along his statement:

“Any financial problems faced by the Los Angeles Dodgers are the result of decisions made by Mr. McCourt and his management team over a period of years.”

Manfred went on to say “The pace of the commissioner’s investigation has been adversely affected by the Dodgers’ failure to produce documents in a timely manner and by the complexity of the financial structures surrounding the club. The commissioner intends to complete the investigation promptly but will not accept less than a thorough investigation.”

Put differently: Frank McCourt: Dead man walking.

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.