I guess that stuff about the Yankees playing hardball with Johnny Damon is legit. According to Heyman, the team and the player are currently two years and $34 million apart, with Damon wanting $52 million for four years and the Yankees offering $18 million for two years.
Heyman asks “doesnt this have to get done tho?” You know what? If I’m the Yankees I say nope. Not at all. Not at what Damon wants. He’s worth $9 million over two. Maybe a bit more. Even if you put a Pettitte-style bumper on it because, hell, it’s the Yankees, you don’t get to four years and $52 million.
I like Brian Cashman’s slow-and-easy approach to this. Leave the offer out there for a month. Heck, make it an even $20 million if you want. If Damon can go and find four years from someone, mazel tov. If not, he’ll sign at what I’m offering.
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.