Multiple outlets are reporting that Francisco Rodriguez has a thumb ligament injury that will require surgery which will put him out for the season. And yep, you guessed it: the injury came when he punched his girlfriend’s father last week.
I don’t suppose the result of the punches he threw render the intention to throw those punches and dumber, but it certainly makes the results far more disastrous for him.
Now the big question comes: can the Mets refuse to pay him his salary or even go so far as to void his contract as a result of all of this? Obviously the man is innocent until proven guilty — and obviously the union would have a lot to say about this before any decision was ultimately made — but it is hard to see how this injury isn’t the result of the player engaging in misconduct, however it is ultimately characterized, legally speaking.
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.