Yankees among teams monitoring Johan Santana

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The Twins are reportedly interested in a reunion with two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, but they are going to have plenty of competition to sign him.

Confirming reports from last month, Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger hears that the Yankees are among several teams monitoring the progress of Santana. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported earlier this week that at least a dozen teams have checked in.

Santana is currently rehabbing from his second anterior capsule surgery. The veteran southpaw has yet to throw off a mound this winter, but he could audition for scouts near his home in Fort Myers, Florida before spring training. He’ll turn 35 in March.

The Yankees are focused on Masahiro Tanaka at the moment, but they’ll likely need to add another starting pitcher if he ends up signing elsewhere. McCullough hears that the team’s interest in Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana is limited, so Santana could be worth the gamble if he looks good during his throwing sessions. That’s obviously far from a given at this stage.

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.