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Orioles acquire right-hander Alec Asher in trade with Phillies

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. — The Orioles acquired right-hander Alec Asher on Tuesday afternoon in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for cash or a player to be named later, the team announced.

Asher, 25, was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in five September major league starts for the Phillies last season.

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He missed most of 2016 serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for the anabolic steroid dehydrochlormethyltestosterone while he was on the minor league disabled list at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for a calf injury.

On the field, Asher – who was a part of the blockbuster trade that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers – pitched well. He had a 2.37 ERA, mostly at Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading.

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After returning from his suspension, he was a September call-up and made all five of his major league starts then. He performed much better than his first major league stint in 2015, when he had a 7.31 ERA in seven games.

He also made four starts this offseason in the Dominican Winter League, posting a 1.69 ERA.

"Asher is a solid major league pitcher who our scouts have liked for a few seasons that we believe will help our club this season," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a text message. "He has good size, three major league pitches and command of himself and his pitches."

Asher will fill a spot on the team's 40-man roster. The Orioles have been at 39 players since releasing right-hander Logan Ondrusek in mid-March.

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Because he has options remaining, he can open the season in the minors.

“I think the plan is for him to come to camp with us, see if we can work him in for an outing,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I haven’t gotten caught up on all the history as far as what he’s been doing the past few days. Another good arm who is maneuverable for us. Got some challenges he’s gotten behind.” 

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