Must-click link: How the Red Sox got to Bobby Valentine

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Things move fast and furious in real time. As we watched the Red Sox managerial search unfold, we were first confused about the shift away from the team’s early focus on Dale Sveum and guys like him and onto experienced candidates like Gene Lamont and Bobby Valentine.

But as Alex Speier writes in an in-depth and well-reported piece over at WEEI, there was a method — of sorts — to that madness. And once you read it you’ll get a sense of how the team’s thinking shifted over the course of November until the finally landed their Bobby V. yesterday.

An assist, of course, goes to the front office who, while it was not so simple and crass as a lot of us have been suggesting, did steer things toward an experienced manager. A less expected assist goes to Gene Lamont of people, who helped convince Ben Cherington that, yes, an experienced guy would be nice, even if it wasn’t Lamont himself.

A great read and some great background on how a big league managerial search goes.

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.