Brewers sign Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal

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MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers have signed Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal. The Brewers originally drafted Jeffress in the first round of the 2006 draft, 16th overall. In December 2010, the Brewers sent him to the Royals along with Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jake Odorizzi to acquire Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. In November 2012, the Blue Jays purchased Jeffress from the Royals. The Jays designated him for assignment last Sunday, and Jeffress elected to become a free agent rather than accept an assignment to the minor leagues.

Jeffress has shown that he still has the stuff that made him an exciting prospect, flashing a high-90’s fastball in his three relief appearances for the Jays in the first week of the season. However, in the brief amount of time Jeffress has been in the big leagues over the last five seasons, the right-hander has struggled with his command. Over 52 1/3 career innings, Jeffress has struck out 50 but has also walked 37 unintentionally.

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.