Red Sox to interview Mackanin, Sveum for managing gig

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According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox have identified the first two candidates who could potentially fill the team’s opening at manager: Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum.

Both men will interview within the next week.

Mackanin, 60, has managed nine different minor league teams and served as an interim manager for both the Pirates and Reds. The former second baseman is widely respected around the sport for his charisma and baseball knowledge.

Sveum, 47, was Boston’s third base coach in 2004 and 2005. Like Mackanin, he also managed in the minor leagues and has served as an interim skipper in the bigs. Sveum has been on the Brewers’ coaching staff since 2006.

ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes published a list of 15 candidates for the Red Sox job last week. The club won’t hold that many interviews, but the process to find Terry Francona’s replacement could take a little while.

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.