Jon Niese didn’t need heart surgery after all

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Back in June Jonathan Niese left a start with a rapid heartbeat. He missed a couple of days but then came back and finished out his season, with doctors deciding that he did not need a heart procedure — an ablation procedure — until the offseason.

Now it’s the offseason and the doctors have changed their mind again: he doesn’t need it. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports:

“The doctors just said that it was nothing major and that I didn’t need to have surgery,” Niese said via telephone Monday evening. “I’m just going to go on as normal and that’s it. It’s a really good thing.”

Niese finished the season 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA in 190 innings.

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.