One year later: Re-examining last winter’s biggest contracts

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While everyone debates the wisdom of giving $254 million to Albert Pujols or $106 million to Jose Reyes or $77.5 million to C.J. Wilson, it seems like a good time to look back at the biggest contracts signed last offseason:

Carl Crawford: $142 million for seven years
Jayson Werth: $126 million for seven years
Cliff Lee: $120 million for five years
Adrian Beltre: $96 million for six years
Adam Dunn: $56 million for four years
Derek Jeter: $51 million for three years
Victor Martinez: $50 million for four years

Those are the seven contracts that topped $50 million last winter.

At the very least it’s obvious that the Red Sox, Nationals, and White Sox would gladly go back in time and undo the Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, and Adam Dunn contracts. Derek Jeter’s deal looks as iffy now as it did then and I certainly wouldn’t be excited to owe Victor Martinez another $38 million now that he’s a 33-year-old designated hitter.

I’m not sure what the point is, other than to say that for the most part every fan base is thrilled when their favorite team signs a big-money free agent and things can change an awful lot in 12 months.

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.