Endy Chavez is on the comeback trail

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Remember this guy? Mets fans surely
do, but he didn’t have much time to endear himself in Seattle before
blowing out his right knee in a nasty collision with with shortstop
Yuniesky Betancourt last June. Chavez underwent ACL and MCL surgery on
the knee in July, but according to his agent Peter Greenberg, he is
currently “ahead of schedule” and could be major league ready by May.


Chavez’s value obviously springs
from his speed and fantastic defense, so he plans to showcase himself
for teams in March in order to earn a new contract. According to
Greenberg, he’d even be willing to sign a minor league deal.

“Endy is doing very well both physically and mentally in Venezuela.
He’ll come to Seattle end of January and take it from there. There is
also a chance that Endy may even be signed by the time he gets to
Seattle as we have had a few clubs ask if we’d entertain a minor-league
offer at this time – and we have said we would. If it is interesting
enough and Endy likes the situation, he may sign even before the end of
this month.”

The Mariners have already stated
their interest, but given that Chavez is close to full strength, and
wouldn’t have much impact on a team’s 40-man roster, I can’t see how most MLB teams wouldn’t have interest in a defensive player of his caliber.

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.