Bourjos, Gennett, Asher switch sides as opening day nears
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.
In games across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues:
BLUE JAYS 10, PHILLIES 4
Josh Donaldson's first hit of the spring was a double and he added a long home run for Toronto. He also scored three times.
Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo homer and walked with the bases loaded, Melvin Upton Jr. had a two-run shot and Jose Bautista singled home a run. Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada gave up four runs and seven hits in four innings, striking out five. Leadoff batter Devon Travis had three hits.
Howie Kendrick tripled and hit a two-run double for Philadelphia. Aaron Nola didn't make it through the second inning, giving up five runs and seven hits despite four strikeouts. Colton Murray, who had thrown 10 1/3 scoreless innings, left in the eighth grabbing his lower back. He gave up two runs and four hits over 3 2/3 innings.
TIGERS 6, YANKEES 3
Detroit finally got to Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka after being held hitless over 10 2/3 innings and three starts. Ian Kinsler singled, Alex Presley doubled him home and Presley scored on a throwing error by catcher Gary Sanchez.
Tanaka, who finished the spring with a 0.38 ERA, went five innings and yielded three hits. He struck out six.
Justin Upton had a two-run homer for the Tigers, his fifth.
Aaron Judge, competing with Aaron Hicks to start in right field, hit his third homer for New York.
Detroit starter Michael Fulmer, who tweaked his right ankle again, gave up a run and three hits in five innings. The Tigers told Anibal Sanchez he will pitch out of the bullpen.
RED SOX 9, PIRATES 2
Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. homered, and minor leaguer Heiker Meneses had a two-run triple in the first inning as Boston pounded Drew Hutchison for seven quick hits.
Betts had a two-run double and Bradley an RBI single in the fourth. Hutchinson went 3 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs and 10 hits. Bradley and leadoff batter Brock Holt finished with three hits apiece.
Steven Wright went four innings for the Red Sox, giving up four hits and a run.
Pirates reliever Juan Nicasio has 14 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings this spring.
MARLINS (ss) 4, NATIONALS 2
After missing most of spring training with a hamstring injury, A.J. Ellis singled and scored when Matt den Dekker hit a two-run double off Washington starter Jacob Turner.
Turner went four innings, allowing three runs and two hits. Jeremy Guthrie followed with four innings and gave up one run. With an ERA of 2.41, he might have locked up a job as a long reliever for the Nationals.
Miami starter Scott Copeland permitted two runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Included was a two-run homer by Jayson Werth.
ORIOLES 5, BRAVES 4
Baltimore starter Wade Miley gave up one run in four innings, Pedro Alvarez had a two-run single and Caleb Joseph got two hits.
Jaime Garcia allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings for Atlanta. Freddie Freeman went 2 for 2 with an RBI.
ASTROS 7, MARLINS (ss) 3
Houston ace Dallas Keuchel gave up three runs on six hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. Brian McCann hit a two-run homer, Jose Altuve had an RBI double and Yuli Gurriel and Marwin Gonzalez each had two hits.
Miami's Edison Volquez allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings. Giancarlo Stanton hit his second homer of the spring.
TWINS 1, RAYS 0
Byung Ho Park homered and is hitting .362 with 10 RBIs in 47 spring at-bats. Nick Tepesch gave up three hits and a walk over four scoreless innings for Minnesota.
Tampa Bay's Chris Archer threw three scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out four. Logan Morrison and Daniel Robertson both went 2 for 3 - the 23-year-old Robertson has a six-game hitting streak and is batting .550 during that span.
CARDINALS 3, METS 3, 9 INNINGS
Adam Wainwright gave up three runs and five hits with no walks over five innings for St. Louis. Matt Adams homered and had three hits, and Jhonny Peralta got two hits. Matt Carpenter went 0 for 2 and is hitless in his last 11 at-bats with five strikeouts.
Robert Gsellman allowed three runs and five hits with six strikeouts in six innings for the Mets. Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer, and Yoenis Cespedes got two hits and made a leaping catch at the wall.
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.
ROYALS 7, WHITE SOX 4
Nathan Karns, who won a spot in Kansas City's rotation this spring, struck out seven while allowing one run and five hits in six innings.
Alex Gordon hit a leadoff homer for the Royals, and Cheslor Cuthbert and Brandon Moss each added a solo shot. Moss homered for the third straight game and has four this spring.
Chris Volstad gave up four runs and six hits - including three homers - over 3 2/3 innings for Chicago. White Sox prospect Jacob May appears to have won the center field job after getting two hits.
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.
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.
BREWERS 13, INDIANS 12
Orlando Arcia hit two homers off struggling Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, who has a 6.17 ERA. Kluber gave up five runs on six hits with six strikeouts in five innings.
Ryan Braun also homered off Kluber.
Milwaukee's opening day starter, Junior Guerra, permitted nine hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings. In his final two Cactus League starts, Guerra gave up 16 runs - 11 earned - and 19 hits in 7 1/3 innings to finish the spring with a 6.75 ERA.
Cleveland's Daniel Robertson, a non-roster invite, had three hits, including a three-run double on which he appeared to strain his hamstring trying to go to third.
ANGELS 14, ATHLETICS 3
Martin Maldonado had five RBIs for Los Angeles, including a three-run homer. Bud Norris went two innings, allowing a hit with five strikeouts and one walk. Non-roster invitee Blake Parker, making a strong bid for a spot in the Angels' bullpen, struck out the side in the sixth. His last 11 outs have been strikeouts, with just one hit mixed in.
Oakland starter Logan Shore gave up one run and two hits in four innings.