Jeff Suppan returns to Royals on a minor league contract

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Released by the Giants near the end of spring training Jeff Suppan has found a new home with the Royals, signing a minor-league contract today.

Suppan pitched for Kansas City from 1998 to 2002, going from journeyman to consistent 200-inning starter during that time, and also knows current Royals manager Ned Yost from their days together with the Brewers. However, he’s now 36 years old and a long way from a dependable innings eater. He’ll join the rotation at Triple-A.

Milwaukee released Suppan in the middle of last season, eating around $8 million in salary, and after latching on with St. Louis he finished 3-8 with a 5.06 ERA in 101 innings overall. This spring he had a 5.50 ERA in 18 innings, allowing 12 runs while managing just five strikeouts, and Suppan hasn’t had an ERA better than the league average since 2007.

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.