I missed this yesterday — Manny and Francoeur obsessions make you blind to any number of things — but apparently Jerry Manuel “would love to know” whether the Mets plan on bringing him back next season. He’s not going to ask now, however, because he doesn’t want to become a distraction.
Show of hands America: who besides Jerry Manuel believes that the Mets haven’t already decided not to renew his contract for next year? Let me count: 1 . . . 2.
Oh, sorry. That was Jerry’s mom raising her hands. And she doesn’t think her son is keeping his job. She was just stretching.
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.