Red Sox source: “Baseball and soccer are completely different”

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That seems rather obvious, but I guess it’s something you have to say when a major national media figure makes lazy assumptions about why you didn’t sign any big time free agents this winter. From the Boston Herald:

In response to a CBSSports.com blog post Thursday, a Fenway Sports Group source strongly disputed the notion that the Red Sox’ unusual financial restraint this winter is related to overspending for players on owner John Henry’s English Premier League soccer team.

“Roush Fenway (Racing), NESN, the Red Sox and Liverpool are all profitable businesses that do not have to rely on revenues moving from one to another … Baseball and soccer are completely different.”

We should probably lay off Heyman here, though. They haven’t explained why his CBS research staff’s budget has been slashed. But here’s one guess: revenues are down ever since they cancelled “All in the Family” in 1979.

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.