This isn’t the most Earth-shattering news — the dude was 2-9 with a 6.04 ERA in 13 starts, and that doesn’t fly with even a terrible team like Cleveland — but it is notable for two reasons.
(1) I will no longer be able to use my old warhourse “minute and a Huff” joke in “And That Happened.” Probably for the best, though. I have to be careful not to get too Bermany with this stuff; and
(2) Now that Huff will be pitching in my hometown, I get to see if he has the stones to continue to warm up to Johnny Cash’s “God’s gonna cut you down” like he does in Cleveland. It’s ballsy enough to basically claim to be God when you’re in the majors, but doing so in Columbus, Ohio would be epic in its audaciousness.
Man, I hope he does it.
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.