They’ve finally found their man. Er, a man.
According to Baltimore sports reporter Jen Royle, the Orioles have officially hired Dan Duqette to be their next general manager and will introduce him at a press conference Tuesday at Camden Yards.
Duquette served as the Expos’ general manager from 1992-1994 before taking the same position with the Red Sox for eight seasons. He’s been out of baseball since 2002, but the 53-year-old has a background in scouting and player development, and he boasts a strong resume that includes many successful drafts.
The Orioles won’t be able to escape the fact that they were turned down by multiple candidates before settling on Duquette, but he’s a fine fit for the role and will succeed if given the right resources.
Duquette’s primary challenge will be to turn around a Baltimore pitching staff that registered a league-worst 4.89 ERA this past season. The 29th-ranked Twins pitching staff had a 4.58 team ERA.
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.