A few weeks ago Rich Harden announced that he was attempting a comeback after not playing in 2012 and now we know at least one team is interested in the oft-injured right-hander.
LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins “have been in contact” with Harden’s agent and adds that “this one is heating up pretty quickly.”
Well, at least as quickly as someone almost surely signing a minor-league deal can heat up.
Harden hasn’t had an ERA below 5.00 since 2009 and even when pitching well he never stayed healthy, but if the price is low enough he’s not a bad flier at age 31. I’ve always wondered why, after so many injuries, Harden didn’t shift to the bullpen full time, but presumably the rotation-starved Twins would be looking at him as a starter.
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.
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.