Jonah Keri to write the definitive history of the Montreal Expos

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And now for some news as fantastic as it was inevitable: friend of HBT Jonah Keri, fresh of his bestselling success, The Extra 2%, just signed a deal to write the definitive history of the Montreal Expos.

The details are over at Jonah’s blog. The only slight bummer: his publisher has it slated to come out in 2014 to coincide with round number anniversaries of the Expos’ move to Washington and their magical but tragically-aborted run at the NL East title in 1994.* Perchance Jonah can persuade them to move it up a bit since it’s a topic people will — or at least should — be very interested in. If not, fine, we’ll wait.

The Expos are gone. Someday, sooner than we think, so too will be the people who helped define that historic — and historically bizarre — baseball franchise.  It makes me really happy that someone is going to capture it all for posterity, and that that someone is a person who loves and mourns the Expos as much as Jonah Keri does.

*Note: I presume that Jonah will not let his Expos fandom get in the way of the fact that, if the 1994 season had continued, the Atlanta Braves would have easily made up the six-game gap, overtaken the Expos and won the World Series that year. I mean, it’s just science.

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.