Bourjos, Gennett, Asher switch sides as opening day nears
PHOENIX — Speedy outfielder Peter Bourjos and infielder Scooter Gennett were among the players on the go Tuesday as big league teams tweaked their rosters less than a week before opening day.
The Tampa Bay Rays added some depth by acquiring Bourjos from the Chicago White Sox for cash or a player to be named.
The 29-year-old Bourjos hit .251 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 123 games for Philadelphia last season. He signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on Jan. 30 and batted .313 in 19 spring training games.
Cincinnati claimed Gennett off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers, giving the Reds another option at second base and a utility player off the bench.
Gennett grew up in Cincinnati and will make $2,525,000 this season. The 26-year-old hit .263 with a career-high 14 homers and 56 RBIs last season, but the Brewers decided to go with Jonathan Villar at second base.
In another move, the Baltimore Orioles added a starting pitcher, acquiring right-hander Alec Asher from the Phillies for a player to be named or cash.
The 26-year-old Asher was 2-7 with a 5.88 ERA in 12 major league starts for the Phillies in 2015 and 2016.
He served an 80-game suspension for steroid use last season, when he went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts.
“Good, young arm with options,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I think the plan is for him to come to camp with us and see if we can work him in for an outing. ... He’s had some challenges he’s gotten behind.”
There was a noon Tuesday deadline for teams to make decisions on players who became free agents and agreed to minor league contracts, and several were given formal notice they will be added to 25-man rosters by opening day. Among them were White Sox catcher Geovany Soto, Angels right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, San Diego shortstop Erick Aybar, San Francisco third baseman Aaron Hill and Toronto catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia
In addition, teams paid $100,000 retention bonuses to six players with minor league contracts so they could keep them: Baltimore power hitter Pedro Alvarez, Kansas City right-hander Peter Moylan, Dodgers righty Brandon Morrow and Toronto right-hander Mat Latos.
The Rays agreed to pay the $100,000 due Bourjos. Tampa Bay also paid the bonus earlier this month to right-hander Tommy Hunter, whose contract had a March 15 deadline for the decision.
Several veterans were released, including Atlanta right-hander Kris Medlen, Baltimore outfielder Michael Bourn, Minnesota right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and Phillies catcher Ryan Hanigan. Teams can re-sign released players if they want to, avoiding the $100,000 retention bonus.
DIAMONDBACKS 15, MARINERS 6
In a marquee matchup of aces, Zack Greinke gave up three runs and six hits for Arizona without a walk or strikeout in four innings.
Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez allowed one hit — a solo homer by Brandon Drury — while striking out four in two innings. Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer for the Mariners.
Kristopher Negron, A.J. Pollock, Jake Lamb, David Peralta and Marty Herum also homered for the Diamondbacks, and Yasmany Tomas stole home. Herum’s drive was a grand slam.
GIANTS 10, CUBS 7
Matt Cain gave up four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out five, and doubled in two runs off Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery. Cain threw 99 pitches, a spring high on the Giants’ staff.
Denard Span led off the game with a home run against Jake Arrieta. San Francisco prospect Chris Marrero hit a three-run homer in the ninth, his seventh, after replacing first baseman Brandon Belt, who struck out three times.
Arrieta gave up three runs and five hits while striking out seven over four innings. He also had a hit and scored a run.
REDS 9, DODGERS (ss) 3
Adam Duvall had three hits and four RBIs, including a pair of homers. Billy Hamilton added two hits and twice stole third off Los Angeles lefty Alex Wood, who gave up six runs — five earned — and 11 hits in six innings. Arismendy Alcantara also had two hits, including a solo homer.
Cincinnati right-hander Scott Feldman gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a tuneup for opening day. He struck out four and walked two. Cody Bellinger hit a two-run homer off Feldman.
RANGERS 4, ROCKIES 3
A.J. Griffin allowed two runs on six hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings for Texas. Joey Gallo went 2 for 4 with a solo homer and an RBI double.
Making a bid to bat leadoff for the Rangers, Delino DeShields has been on base 11 times in 16 plate appearances with center fielder Carlos Gomez sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Colorado prospect Antonio Senzatela gave up three runs and nine hits in five innings. Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer and Nolan Arenado had two doubles.
DODGERS (ss) 3, PADRES 1
Julio Urias allowed two hits in 2 2/3 scoreless innings and Bobby Wilson hit a two-run homer for Los Angeles.
Luis Perdomo tossed three scoreless innings for the Padres, who announced newcomer Jhoulys Chacin will start on opening day against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.