Bud Norris to make O’s debut Thursday … vs. Astros

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As first reported by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, new Orioles starter Bud Norris will make his debut on Thursday night against the team that just traded him, the Houston Astros. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

Norris was dealt to the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for outfield prospect L.J. Hoes, left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader and a competitive balance pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.

The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts this season and he’s fanned 90 batters in 126 innings. He’s making a $3 million salary this year and is arbitration-eligible in both 2014 and 2015.

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.