The Mets: “They’re undesirable … nobody wants them”

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Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal has a good article up noting the challenges Mets prospects face playing in Las Vegas. A park thousands of miles from Queens and on a different baseball planet once you figure in the climate and park effects.

And he asks the one question I’ve wondered about since they agreed to move their Triple-A team there last year: what are the Mets doing in Las Vegas in the first place?

The answer is partially due to the musical chairs relationship between major league and minor league teams, with affiliations changing every few years and leaving one or two teams scrambling to find a lasting match with the minor league clubs. The Mets have been that scrambling team.

Why? The answer is blunt, but not necessarily surprising: “They’re undesirable … nobody wants them.”

Who said that and why did he say it? Go check out Costa’s article to see.

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.