Notes from Day 2 of the MLB draft

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The third and final day of the draft is taking place right now, but a couple of yesterday’s mid-round picks caught me eye …

* Remember the University of Texas pitcher who threw 169 pitches during a 13-inning relief outing in an NCAA tournament game last month? Austin Wood was drafted in the fifth round by Detroit. When told that the Tigers picked Wood, manager Jim Leyland said: “He won’t be able to pitch until August.” He didn’t specify which year.

* Remember the Florida high schooler who threw four consecutive no-hitters? Patrick Schuster was taken by the Diamondbacks in the 13th round, which Conor Glassey of Baseball America notes
“is lower than Schuster was expected to go based on talent.” Schuster
has a scholarship waiting for him at the University of Florida, so he
may choose college rather than mid-round money.

* One other draft note from yesterday: Drew Storen’s incredibly fast deal with the Nationals includes a $1.6 million signing bonus, which is about 25 percent below what the past three No. 10 overall picks have received. General manager Mike Rizzo said
that Storen will begin his pro career at Single-A, which suggests that
the Nationals aren’t planning to push him to the majors this year.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.