Dodgers hire former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker

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Flexing their financial muscle once again, the Dodgers lured Gerry Hunsicker away from the Rays on Thursday, naming the former Astros GM their senior advisor for baseball operations.

That would seem to make Hunsicker the No. 2 man in the Dodgers front office behind general manager Ned Colletti. He’s expected to work primarily in scouting and development.

“Gerry brings a wealth of senior level experience and knowledge that will assist baseball operations at all levels,” Colletti said.

Hunsicker was the Astros’ GM during the most successful run in franchise history, making the postseason five times in nine years before he stepped down in 2004. He joined the Rays as a senior vice president after the 2005 season.

Hunsicker said Friday that he will “forever cherish” his time with the Rays, but that he felt “it was time to for another challenge.”

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.