7:05 PM: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, there are growing indications that the Yankees are the front-runners for Dan Haren.
Rosenthal writes that the Tigers can’t be ruled out, either, but a source tells him that the D-Backs are telling interested clubs that they are in “advanced negotiations” with one team.
5:15 PM: So much for Brian Cashman’s “we don’t need pitching; we only tied to get Cliff Lee because he’s a special case” stuff. Jayson Stark and Ed Price are reporting today that the Yankees are interested in Dan Haren.
Price goes further and says that the Yankees are “pushing hard” for Haren, and that a trade could happen within a couple of days. He also cautions to “take w/salt” however. I assume that means be skeptical and not to consider Dan Haren with the Yankees while watching the new Angelina Jolie movie. But hey, it is trade rumor season and so little of what gets said makes sense.
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.