Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo set to sign with Diamondbacks

Leave a comment

Back in July the Cardinals signed 16-year-old Dominican outfielder Wagner Mateo for a $3.1 million bonus only to void the deal over concerns about his eyesight.
Since then Mateo has been shopping around for another team and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are on the verge of signing him.
According to Piecoro the deal with Arizona is likely to pay “around $500,000” and “the finalization of the contract is no sure thing given Mateo’s medical history.”
Mateo reportedly has 20/200 vision and even with corrective lenses may prove to have difficulty seeing at night, but as Piecoro notes the Diamondbacks may have simply decided that he has enough overall talent to take a $500,000 risk regardless of the eye issues.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote in September that Mateo “could not read past the ‘E’ on the eye chart” and it looks like that will end up costing him about $2.5 million.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.