John Lannan likely headed for season-ending knee surgery

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Phillies left-hander John Lannan is expected to undergo surgery to repair a partially torn tendon in his knee, which would knock him out for the remainder of the season.

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the recovery timetable would be 4-6 months, which should give Lannan time to be ready for spring training, although if the Phillies non-tender him the uncertainty surrounding his health might make finding another sizable contract tough.

Lannan is making $2.5 million this year, for which the Phillies got 74 innings of a 5.31 ERA, and he hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2011 with the Nationals.

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.