Rangers, Yu Darvish not gelling on length of contract

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Rangers president Nolan Ryan seemed confident last week that a deal would be struck with Japanese starter Yu Darvish before Wednesday’s deadline.

But that’s suddenly just three days away.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the two sides are disagreeing on the amount of years — not the amount of dollars — that will frame Darvish’s first major league contract. Darvish’s camp wants the deal to be for five years so that he can hit free agency sooner and possibly cash in again, and the Rangers want to lock him up for six to maximize the value of their record $51,703,411 posting fee.

It still seems like a given that one side will eventually cave and that a compromise will be reached. Darvish probably isn’t interested in returning to Nippon Professional Baseball, and the Rangers wouldn’t have made such an aggressive push for the 25-year-old right-hander if they weren’t enamored with him.

Darvish, who stands 6′ 5″, posted a 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings last season in NPB.

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.