Adrian Gonzalez is as good as gone

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We all looked kind of silly last winter assuming that Adrian Gonzalez was going to be traded. We never took into account the possibility that the Padres could, you know, win some ballgames. But win they did, and it took Gonzalez right out of the trade speculation pool before the weather got hot.  What’s more, the Padres success had some people thinking that maybe the club could find a way to keep the hometown hero in the fold after all.

Yeah, about that:

The agent for Adrian Gonzalez says it’s “pretty much a fait accompli” that the Padres slugger will test the free-agent market after the 2011 season . . . [Gonzalez’s agent] says he’ll seek market value for the three-time All-Star and doesn’t anticipate the Padres veering from their financial structure.

Maybe this all talk, though, and the Padres feel differently about the possibility of signing their stud. Jed Hoyer?

Hoyer says the type of contract Gonzalez will seek in free agency is something that only a handful of markets can support, “and San Diego is not one of them.” Hoyer says it doesn’t make sense to make an offer that doesn’t come close to what Gonzalez would want.

Well then.

If the agent says the guy is going to test the market and seek top dollar, and the GM says the team can’t afford him, doesn’t that put us right back into “the Padres are going to trade Adrian Gonzalez” territory?  And with him making an insanely low $5.5 million this year, wouldn’t it make him a highly sought after commodity?  If you’re in he market for a corner bat, how are you not banging down Jed Hoyer’s door right now?

And if you’re Jed Hoyer, can you really just decide to hold on and wait for the 2012 draft picks? Don’t you have to see if you can’t do better?

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.