Mike Gonzalez turns down Rangers’ minor league offer

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Lefty specialists are always in demand, but it’s March 4 and Mike Gonzalez is still a free agent because he’s refusing to lower his asking price.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Gonzalez rejected a minor league contract offer that was presented to him last week by the Rangers.

The deal would have included an invitation to spring training, but it would not have guaranteed Gonzalez a major league salary nor a 25-man roster spot. So for now, the 33-year-old southpaw is holding out for something better.

Gonzalez registered a disappointing 4.39 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 53 1/3 innings last season between Baltimore and Texas, though he did hold left-handed batters to a .214/.264/.311 slash line.

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.