One outlier of a game is not enough to say that Major League Baseball’s efforts at speeding things up are futile, but last night’s Dodgers-Dbacks game is probably worth pointing out if for no other reason than to show that long games are not the exclusive province of the Yankees and Red Sox.
Extra innings? Sure, but the game would have clocked in at around four hours even if it had only gone nine. The longest game in Dodgers history, at least in terms of hours, was only a half hour longer than last night’s affair, but it lasted for nineteen innings.
I just hope that Joe West wasn’t watching from whatever hotel he was in last night. He might have plotzed.
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.