Rockies exercise $2.5 million option on Miguel Olivo for 2011

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Miguel Olivo followed up a big first half by hitting .193 after the All-Star break, but finished with a solid .269/.315/.449 line in 112 games overall and will be back in Colorado next season after the Rockies’ exercised their $2.5 million team option for 2011.
Olivo either figures to split time behind the plate with Chris Iannetta again or take on the bulk of the starts if the Rockies end up taking Iannetta out of the doghouse long enough to trade him, but either way $2.5 million is a reasonable enough salary.
Olivo does a nice job shutting down the running game and has good power for a catcher, smacking 14 homers in 394 at-bats this season and an average of 20 homers per 500 at-bats for his career, but horrendous plate discipline keeps him from actually being a major asset offensively. He struck out 117 times while drawing a grand total of just 22 non-intentional walks this year, and was even worse in the previous two seasons with K/BB ratios of 126/19 and 123/14.
UPDATE: Not so fast, my friend: Colorado’s team option on Olivo actually became a mutual option because he played more than 110 games this season, which means he still has the ability to become a free agent even after they exercise their half of the deal.

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.