Remember when I said that the Yankees and Mets should be treated like movie slashers when it comes to the pursuit of a free agent? That you can’t count them out until they’re truly, truly dead, and that even then you should pour gasoline on the corpse and light it just to be sure? I should have included the Red Sox in that, because this is what I meant:
The Red Sox, who maintained radio silence before signing free-agent pitcher John Lackey and were almost as circumspect in their pursuit of free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre before signing him, are conducting another stealth operation, this time
in their attempts to sign Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.
Contrary to reports that have pegged the Angels and Blue Jays as
favorites to sign the 22-year-old pitcher, the Red Sox remain very much
in the picture, one major league executive predicting that either the
Sox or Yankees will sign him.
They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse or fear. And they absolutely will not stop until they have signed all the big free agents.
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.