Scott Baker had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery

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When the Twins announced last week that starter Scott Baker needed an elbow procedure and would miss the rest of the 2012 season, they claimed that his ulnar collateral ligament was fine and that it was his flexor pronator tendon that required repairing.

That was either incorrect or untrue.

According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Baker underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his throwing elbow Tuesday in New York after Dr. David Altchek found significant damage involving the 30-year-old right-hander’s UCL. What was once a six-month recovery is now sure to be a 12-month one.

Baker, 30, registered a solid 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 123/32 K/BB ratio across 134 2/3 innings last season. But the Twins are all but certain to decline his $9.25 million club option for the 2013 campaign.

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.