Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun has the story:
Alex Anthopoulos, the much-maligned general manager of the Blue Jays, will return for his sixth season running the club, a bevy of major-league sources have confirmed.
Apparently, there is no temperature at all to remove Anthopoulos from his job — in fact, quite the opposite sentiment exists — with an appreciation internally for the manner in which he has conducted his business.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is also expected to be brought back, no matter what happens over the final 38 games of 2014. Toronto has fallen 6 1/2 games back of the Orioles in the American League East and Anthopoulos was heavily-criticized for failing to upgrade the major league roster at the July 31 trade deadline. But Simmons writes Sunday that club ownership is “pleased that Anthopoulous has put the club’s future in good pitching hands with a potential rotation down the road that includes Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Drew Hutchison and minor-league stalwart Daniel Norris — all of whom are 23 years old or younger.”
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.