Oliver Perez as a 'lefty-on-lefty specialist' might actually work

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Jerry Manuel said yesterday that when Oliver Perez returns from the disabled list–possibly as soon as this week–the Mets plan to use him as a situation left-handed reliever. Or as Manuel phrased it, a “lefty-on-lefty specialist.”
Setting aside the unpleasant thought of paying someone $12 million per season to fill such a limited role, I actually think Perez could be a pretty good fit if spotted primarily against left-handed hitters (and in low-leverage situations, at least initially).
Obviously throwing strikes is crucial in any role and that makes Perez a big question mark regardless of how the Mets deploy him, but he held left-handed hitters to a .185 batting average even while struggling overall this season and from 2007-2009 lefties hit just .183 with a .268 on-base percentage and .304 slugging percentage in 450 plate appearances versus Perez.

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.