Blue Jays sign left-hander Aaron Laffey to a split contract

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After reportedly inking veteran reliever Darren Oliver to a one-year contract with a club option for 2013, the Blue Jays have added another left-hander to the fold.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Blue Jays have signed Aaron Laffey to a split contract.

Laffey was non-tendered by the Royals earlier this month and actually turned down a pre-tender deal from the club in order to find an opportunity to pitch as a starter. The 26-year-old left-hander posted a 3.88 ERA and 30/21 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings this past season as a reliever between the Mariners and Yankees.

Laffey averages around 87 mph on his fastball and has a pretty awful 185/149 K/BB ratio over 373 2/3 innings in the big leagues, so he likely wouldn’t fare very well as a starter in the American League East. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Jays will give the soft-tossing southpaw an opportunity to compete for a spot in the rotation during spring training, but if he actually makes a start for Toronto in 2012, something probably went very wrong.

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.