Jose Contreras bound for the NL West?

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The Diamond Notes blog translates an article from El Nuevo Herald (a McClatchy-published Spanish language paper published in Miami) in which it is reported that Jose Contreras, late of his apparently unsuccessful workouts for the Softbank Hawks — is likely to end up with the Rockies, Diamondbacks or Dodgers.

The paper also reports that two AL Central teams are interested in his services. It doesn’t say who they are, but the Royals have been bottom feeding on pitching lately.  And you have to figure that, even though he was traded, Contreras didn’t burn any bridges with the White Sox. By all accounts he’s a nice guy and a good teammate.

And hey, if guys like Jeff Weaver and Livan Hernandez keeps finding major league work, why not Contreras? 

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.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.