Dusty Baker finally makes it official: Sean Marshall is the Reds’ closer

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For whatever reason manager Dusty Baker was hesitant to name Sean Marshall the Reds’ new closer after Ryan Madson went down, saying: “You just don’t throw somebody in that role.”

Marshall made it very clear that he wanted the job and his excellent performance during the past two seasons made it equally clear that he deserves the opportunity, and yesterday Baker finally relented.

Marshall, who’s been one of the elite setup men in baseball, will take over ninth-inning duties and Aroldis Chapman will be a setup man after plans for his potential move to the rotation were scrapped yesterday.

By this time next year there’s a good chance Marshall will be referred to as a “proven closer.”

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.