Red Sox sign David Ortiz to $16 million contract for 2015

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From Rob Bradford of WEEI comes word that the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $16 million contract extension with veteran designated hitter David Ortiz. The deal will be announced by the team on Monday.

Ortiz was already under contract for $15 million in 2014, and now gets a nice $1 million raise for the 2015 campaign. He made his desire for a one-year extension well known this winter and the defending World Series-champion Red Sox came through a week before Opening Day.

Ortiz hit .688 (11-for-16) with two home runs and six RBI in last year’s World Series and .309/.395/.564 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI in 137 games during the 2013 regular season.

The new contract keeps him in Boston through age 39.

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.