Moneyball for the long haul: A’s to extend GM Billy Beane’s contract through 2019

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The timetable for the A’s rebuilding plan keeps getting pushed back further and further as the team tries to time a return to contention with the possible opening of a new ballpark, but however long it takes general manager Billy Beane will be around to see it through.

A’s owner Lewis Wolff said today during an interview on Bloomberg Television that Beane has agreed to a contract extension that will run through 2019 and the deal will become official soon.

Beane has long been considered one of baseball’s best GMs and he’s certainly the most famous now that Brad Pitt has portrayed him on the big screen, but the A’s haven’t had a winning season since 2006 and don’t appear close to turning things around after once again trading young major leaguers for prospects this offseason.

Revenue and payroll limitations play a huge role in the moves Beane has made, but the A’s also haven’t drafted particularly well of late and have traded away several young players who went on to make significant impacts elsewhere. In recent years Beane has also acquired quite a few mediocre veterans in head-scratching deals, leading to even his longtime supporters in the sabermetric community questioning his decision-making.

In addition to Beane’s extension, team president Michael Crowley also agreed to a deal that runs through 2019. Crowley, like Beane, has an ownership stake in the A’s.

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.