GM Walt Jocketty says Reds won’t be sellers

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Even after getting swept at home in a four-game series by the Mets and falling five games under .500, the Reds won’t be sellers, GM Walt Jocketty said Friday.

Jocketty also worked to dispel the notion that the Reds could trade Ramon Hernandez while trying to stay in the race.  According to John Fay, Jocketty said Hernandez offers a greater value for the rest of this year than what the Reds would get in return and that he’d be OK with top prospect Devin Mesoraco staying in Triple-A until September.

The Giants are believed to be very interested in acquiring Hernandez if he’s made available.

If the Reds make a big move, it might be for speedster Michael Bourn.  Dusty Baker is just dying for a true leadoff hitter, and while the Reds are set in center field with Drew Stubbs, they could play in Bourn in left.  It doesn’t appear that Cincinnati is willing to part with the kind of talent it’d take to land Ubaldo Jimenez.

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.