Dodgers release outfielder Marcus Thames

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As expected, the Dodgers have officially released Marcus Thames after designating him for assignment last week to make room on the roster for Juan Rivera.

Thames was already a very limited player even when healthy and a strained calf kept him from being able to consistently play left field for the Dodgers, which along with struggles at the plate made him next to useless.

However, if he can get over the calf issues Thames could still potentially bring some value to a contending team as a part-time outfielder or designated hitter. He strikes out a ton, can’t hit right-handed pitching, and doesn’t catch much in left field, but Thames has a .496 slugging percentage and 46 homers in 786 career at-bats versus left-handed pitching.

For the cost of a minor-league deal it’d be worth it for several teams to see if he can get healthy and hit his way back to the majors in a platoon role.

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.