Garrett Atkins willing to play at Triple-A for another team, but not Orioles

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Designated for assignment over the weekend, Garrett Atkins said he’s not willing to accept an assignment to Triple-A from the Orioles but would “definitely be willing” to sign a minor-league deal with another team once Baltimore lets him go.
Atkins hasn’t been a productive hitter since 2007, although for a while at least calling Coors Field home helped mask his decline somewhat. However, he’s batted just .223 with a .299 on-base percentage and .326 slugging percentage in 170 games dating back to the start of last season.
So while Atkins should have little trouble securing a minor-league contract his actually playing well enough at Triple-A to make it back to the majors is far from a sure thing.

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.