Kelvim Escobar is 35 years old and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009 because of shoulder problems, but Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that he’s attempting a comeback.
Or, more accurately, another comeback.
Escobar had similar plans last offseason, when agent Peter Greenberg told reporters he was “doing very well.” It never went anywhere, but Greenberg recently told Puma that Escobar is aiming to make some winter ball appearances next month.
Assuming he draws any kind of interest from MLB teams Escobar will no doubt have to settle for a minor-league contract. He last signed a major-league deal with the Mets back in December of 2009, but underwent shoulder surgery in May and never threw a pitch for them.
Before all the injuries Escobar was a quality No. 2 starter for the Blue Jays and Angels, throwing 653 innings with a 3.60 ERA from 2004-2007, but in the four seasons since then he’s made exactly one big-league start.
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.