Casey McGehee signing with Japanese team

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Casey McGehee’s rapid decline has led to the 30-year-old heading to Japan.

Sankei in Japan reports that McGehee has agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, which is the same team that signed Andruw Jones earlier this week.

As recently as 2010 he hit .285 with 23 homers and 104 RBIs for the Brewers, but McGehee has hit just .221 with a .632 OPS in 269 games since then, bouncing from the Brewers to the Pirates to the Yankees in the process.

Given the relatively modest payday in Japan it seems obvious that he couldn’t find a guaranteed major-league job for 2013, so he chose Rakuten over competing for a bench gig on a minor-league deal.

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.