Esmil Rogers bows out of 2013 World Baseball Classic

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Some minor World Baseball Classic news.

According to John Lott of Toronto’s National Post, Blue Jays righty Esmil Rogers has removed himself from consideration for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team after originally being listed on the country’s provisional roster.

Rogers, who was sent to Toronto in a November trade with the Indians, will stay in Jays camp all spring so that he can get to know teammates.

The 27-year-old registered a superb 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 54/12 K/BB ratio across 53 innings last season for Cleveland. He will operate in a middle relief role this summer for the Blue Jays.

Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera has also declined an invitation to join the Dominican squad.

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.