Orioles acquire Brad Brach from Padres

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San Diego designated right-hander Brad Brach for assignment last week and now the Padres have traded him to the Orioles in exchange for minor leaguer Devin Jones.

Brach has a 3.70 career ERA and 117 strikeouts in 105 innings for the Padres, which made the DFA surprising, although his numbers away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park aren’t so impressive and ultimately he’s a 28-year-old reliever with borderline setup man upside.

Still, not a bad low-wattage pickup for the Orioles, as Jones got knocked around in Double-A as a 23-year-old starter and may wind up in the bullpen himself.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.