Report: MLB, player buying up Biogenesis documents

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The New York Times is reporting that MLB, rebuffed in its attempts to get Biogenesis documents from the Miami New Times, is now paying an ex-Biogenesis employee for documents relating to the case.

Which is interesting enough. Making it even more fascinating: according to the report, the league has taken this step after learning that a player named in documents has purchased documents from a former clinic employee in order to destroy them.

The New York Times has no idea about the identity of that player. Among those named in the Biogenesis documents were Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz.

The Times reports that MLB has provided payments to multiple former Biogenesis employees who have cooperated with its investigation. According to the Times: “The payments were for the time they provided to the investigators,” and “were not believed to have exceeded several thousand dollars.”

While MLB is well within its rights to pay the ex-employees, there is the concern that said payments would make the employees easily attackable witnesses in case they’re called to testify in any lawsuits.

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.