Friedman outlines Rays' offseason plans

Leave a comment

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman told Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times that the club plans to be active in adding at least one reliever and another catcher to use in tandem with Dioner Navarro.



“We have a list of guys on other teams we have an interest in, and a
list of free agents as well,” Friedman said. “And depending on how the
market evolves on both fronts, it will go a long way toward shaping our
thought process. … We feel like there are a lot of talented names out
there.”




The Rays probably won’t be able to
afford the higher-end relievers like Rafael Soriano or Mike Gonzalez,
however they could have interest in Danys Baez, according to Friedman.
After
missing all of 2008 following Tommy John
surgery, Baez posted a 4.02 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 59 appearances with
the Orioles in 2009. While his strikeout rate fell to a career-low of
5.02 K/9, his
career-high 60.9% groundball rate was among the league-leaders. Baez
previously pitched with the Rays from 2004-2005.




The Rays will likely have to turn to
trades for a catcher since the position is rather thin among the free
agents, however they appear open to continue talks with Gregg Zaun,
despite declining his $2 million option earlier this month.




Some of the juicier tidbits were
buried at the bottom, but probably for good reason. According to Smith, the Rangers and White Sox
have shown interest in B.J. Upton while the Mets and Braves have
inquired about Carl Crawford. The Rays exercised Crawford’s $10 million
option for 2010 earlier this month, and remain interested in discussing
a contract extension.
 


Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.