Phillies may wait to trade Joe Blanton until Carl Pavano signs

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Joe Blanton being on the trade block following Philadelphia’s signing of Cliff Lee is no surprise, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com speculates that the Phillies may wait to trade Blanton until after free agent Carl Pavano signs.

Rosenthal notes that Blanton and Pavano have had similar results and reports that the Nationals are among at least one team bidding for Pavano that would be interested in trading for Blanton if the free agent signs elsewhere.

According to Rosenthal the Phillies “will not demand much in return for Blanton” because “their goal is to clear as much of his salary as possible.” He’s owed $8.5 million in both 2011 and 2012, while Pavano is said to be seeking a two- or three-year deal for around $10 million per season.

Toss in the fact that Pavano is five years older than Blanton and teams would be smart to talk to the Phillies sooner than later.

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.