Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that the Padres have granted left-hander Tony Sipp’s request for a release so that he can sign a big-league deal with the Astros.
Sipp signed a minor-league contract with the Padres during spring training and has been pitching at Triple-A, where he’s thrown 15 innings with a 4.30 ERA and 21/2 K/BB ratio.
Sipp has always been a useful middle reliever, logging 258 innings with a 3.84 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning for the Indians and Diamondbacks. He’s typically been similarly effective versus righties and lefties, so the 30-year-old southpaw isn’t strictly a specialist.
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.
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.