Colome inks minor-league contract with Mariners

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Let go by both the Nationals and Brewers last season after allowing 18 runs in 21 innings, Jesus Colome has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners.
His numbers last year weren’t pretty, but 21 innings is small sample, Colome’s average fastball still clocked in at 94.7 miles per hour, and his ERAs in the previous five seasons were 4.50, 3.27, 4.57, 3.82, and 4.31.
Once viewed as a potential closer while coming up through the minors, Colome never quite figured out how to turn a mid-90s fastball into tons of strikeouts and has a 4.66 ERA in 409 career innings. However, the Mariners aren’t especially deep in established bullpen options and Colome is certainly still capable of tossing 60 innings with a 4.50 ERA.
I’d say this is another solid, low-cost pickup for general manager Jack Zduriencik, but yesterday my favorite Mariners blogger suggested that maybe we ought to tone down the pro-Zduriencik stuff for a while so the backlash doesn’t hit before the team actually starts winning.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a 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.