Nationals finalize one-year contract with Todd Coffey

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Reported to be close to a deal last week, Todd Coffey and the Nationals have finalized a one-year contract worth $1.35 million.

Coffey was non-tendered by the Brewers last month after earning $2.025 million in 2010, so Milwaukee accurately determined that his market value wasn’t quite that high. Still, he’s a solid middle reliever and the Nationals are getting a nice bargain.

Coffey posted a 3.52 ERA and 128/46 K/BB ratio in 153 innings during three seasons with the Brewers and has a good fastball-slider combo that induces more than 50 percent ground balls. He’ll out-perform several relievers who got multi-year deals this offseason.

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.