The Phillies discussed a Domonic Brown for Alfonso Soriano trade

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This isn’t happening, it seems. But it was discussed, and if it had happened it would have been pretty spiffy for a number of reasons: Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies talked to the Cubs about a straight-up deal of Domonic Brown for Alfonso Soriano.

Man, imagine this one a couple of years ago when Soriano was considered the most expensive dead carcass of a ballplayer and Brown was still considered an up and coming prospect. Then Brown continued to struggle and Soriano, while still never being worth his contract — he’s owed $36 million over the next two seasons — had a decent year last year. And, more importantly, the Cubs seem willing to pay a lot to unload him.

Pretty close to a challenge trade: is there enough left if Soriano and enough time for Brown to realize his once great potential? Such a deal would probably scare Cubs and Phillies fans, but for the rest of us it would be pretty fascinating.

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.